The Arabic-speaking region is affected by landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) from both current and past conflicts. According to the Landmine Monitor, landmine and ERW pose, to varying degrees, long-term hazards to the lives and livelihoods of people in 18 Arabic-speaking countries or territories.
In this context the GICHD initiated an Arabic-language Outreach Programme (AOP) for mine action in partnership with the Arab states and regional organisations. Its purpose is to improve knowledge, exchange experiences and promote best mine action practices throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
This programme will allow thousands of employees of the national mine action programmes to access up-to-date information on mine action in Arabic. It will also benefit Arabic-speaking militaries and civilian personnel engaged in mine action, as part of peacekeeping operations or other international humanitarian activities.
Another objective is to reduce the resources spent by individual mine-affected states in the Middle East and North Africa on training, translation and capacity development.
Our main activities include but are not limited to the following:
- organisation of mine action training and workshops in Arabic;
- facilitation of regional and international exchanges (experience or staff);
- mobilisation of local and regional Arabic-speaking expertise;
- translation of major mine action documents and publications into Arabic; and
- launch of an Arabic website as a primary source of mine action knowledge.
The GICHD anticipates handing the programme over to a well-established Arabic-speaking mine action entity in the next three to five years.