Mine action began as a humanitarian emergency response to prevent civilian deaths, particularly among communities returning to their homes. It focused on safely and efficiently removing the threat of mines and ERW to meet the basic security needs of the civilian population and humanitarian workers. This continues to remain a key priority for mine action.

In recent years, mine action organisations and their donors have started emphasise ensuring good developmental outcomes as well as operational efficiency. This means that mine action also works to improve physical safety and access to basic services.

Women working on sewing machines.

As mine action programmes are often not linked early enough or strongly enough with key development actors, the GICHD provides advice on how to ensure that mine action promotes development in mine-affected countries. For example, the GICHD has published guidelines that link mine action with development.