Updated: Apr 30, 2021
Decades of conflict left much of Azerbaijan littered with landmines. Massive contamination in western Azerbaijan pose enormous risks to those engaged in the rehabilitation and reconstruction process. MLI has worked with the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) since 2005 in supporting landmine clearance operations and building ANAMA’s mine detection dog (MDD) capacity. MLI has provided 40 lifesaving MDDs that have helped ANAMA search and return nearly 30 million square meters of formerly contaminated land to safe and productive use.
On November 9, 2020, Russia assisted in brokering an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the 44-day Second Karabakh War. According to assessments conducted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), Azerbaijan is facing “a new, large and complex explosive ordnance threat.”
On April 8, 2021, ANAMA requested MLI’s assistance to provide up to 50 additional MDDs to support clearance operations in the conflict–affected territories. This immense undertaking will save limbs and lives and allow displaced families to return to their homeland in safety and dignity. MLI will continue its close, long-standing relationship with ANAMA and immediately launch a fundraising campaign in partnership with the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington DC and the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States, stated that:
We are grateful for MLI for the outstanding assistance it thus far provided for ANAMA. Today thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs who have suffered so long from the conflict are impatiently waiting to return to their lands and MLI’s Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program offers a significant support to achieve this long–awaited objective.
MLI already has begun the training process for the first “six-pack” of lifesaving MDDs. MLI is asking all of its generous donors and caring, global citizens to support this important effort by contributing to our Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program for Azerbaijan here.
Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters who have so generously sponsored 254 MDDs to save countless lives and improve millions of livelihoods in the world’s most war-torn countries. We now seek sponsors for the first of many six-packs for Azerbaijan that will make an enormous contribution to peace and security in the South Caucasus Region.