Policy paper

Clearing a path to development: mine action

The UK government’s approach to landmines and explosive remnants of war in developing countries.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



The Department for International Development (DFID) is pleased to present its new policy paper setting out the UK government’s priorities and principles in tackling the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in developing countries. For over 20 years, the UK has supported some of the poorest countries around the world to clear landmines and ERW after conflict.

Long after a conflict finishes, landmines and ERW continue to devastate people’s lives. Around the world today, millions of people live alongside land littered by landmines, grenades, rockets and ammunition. In 2011, it was estimated that more than 4,000 people were killed or injured by landmines and ERW. Furthermore, the threat that landmines and ERW pose to development is even more far-reaching. Millions of people are prevented from using agricultural land and accessing essential services, such as health and education, because of landmine and ERW contamination.

The UK’s new policy paper, entitled “Clearing a Path to Development”, sets out the main lessons from our work, our future objectives and our priorities for country selection. The overall goal of all UK funded mine action work will be to build peace and security and support development in countries affected by landmines and ERW. The 3 objectives for future UK mine action work are to:

  • support landmine and ERW clearance and risk reduction in some of the poorest countries
  • strengthen the ability of national authorities to manage their landmine and ERW programmes
  • respond rapidly to emergency needs in humanitarian crises

The UK’s current flagship £30 million Global Mine Action programme will come to a close in 2014. The new policy paper is shaping the design of a new UK mine action programme. More details will follow in due course.

Published 22 November 2013