During the period of 4-7 September, 2006 ANAMA hosted the delegation in comprises of Ms. Debora Netland, PM/WRA Program Manager from US Department of State, Mr. Perry Baltimor, President of the US Marshall Legacy Institute, Mr. Goran Gacnik, Director of the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance and the representatives of Baku International Rotary Club. The representatives visited Rehabilitation Center for landmine survivors in Mardakan village. They met with the mine victims and got familiar with the procedures and treatment facilities of the sanatorium. The documentary presentation, reflecting short-and-long term strategies of ANAMA and presentation of NNGOs cooperating with ANAMA have been presented to the guests. The event was mainly dedicated to the signing of the Memorandum on Cooperation between ANAMA and International Trust Fund of Slovenia which will serve as the constant legal base and insure provision of overall support to demining and mine victim assistance projects implemented in Azerbaijan. Memorandum on Cooperation is based on the Azerbaijan President degree signed on 26 August 2006. Development and signing of this Memorandum become possible as the result of the President's visit to Slovenia. The Donors Briefing received wide media coverage. Information on the briefing was issued by Information Agencies and the leading TV Stations. 20.07.06 ANAMA MONITORED CLEARANCE OPERATIONS WITHIN THE HIGH-PRIORITY PROJECT IN FIZULI On May 8, 2006 ANAMA signed a contract with the Social Development Fund for IDPs on clearance of 1900 ha in Zobjug village, Fizuli region. This project is of the upper most importance for Government as cleared land will be used for construction of 2104 new settlements for IDPs. More than 2000 families will leave their temporary residences in tent camps and move to Zobjug. The duration of clearance project is 19 months. Since the beginning of project 53 deminers, 17 mine detection dogs and 3 mechanical demining machines are involved in operations. About 340 ha of suspected hazardous area have been cleared so far. On July 18, 2006 the representatives of ANAMA HQ conducted monitoring in Zobjug area and acquainted with the current status of operations in situ. 17.07.06 ANAMA ATTENDED THE 9TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF MINE ACTION On 3-7 July, 2006 ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov participated in the 9th International meeting of UN Advisors and National Directors on Mine Actions, held in Geneva, Switzerland. This important UN Mine Action gathering aims at bringing together National Mine Action Directors and UN Advisors from all mine-affected countries around the world to exchange experience and challenges faced in mine action field. The gathering comprised of general meetings, meeting of MA Directors, UN Advisors and specialized workshops dedicated to specific issues. On July the 7th Mr. Ismaylov made a presentation on "Achievements, Challenges and Plans of ANAMA" at the Mine Action Support Group meeting. At the meeting ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov stated about the achievements of the Agency, socio-political situation in Azerbaijan, the efforts of the Government of Azerbaijan aimed at reconstruction of territories, clearance of mines and repatriation of IDPs to their homelands. During the course of the 9th meeting, by the initiative of the Azerbaijan Embassy to Switzerland, ANAMA Director held bilateral meetings with the Director of Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, Ambassador Stephen Nellen and Mrs. Isabelle Barras, Chief of Operations for EURAM_EAST, International Committee of the Red Cross. 14.07.06 MVA PROJECT GIVES ITS FIRST POSITIVE EFFECTS In frames of the first MVA project in Azerbaijan, the first group consisting of 20 mine victims was taken to the sanatorium on July 06, 2006. They passed through the complete medical check and treatment of each patient was determined by appropriate doctors. Every day all the patients will go through medical examination. 5 mine victims will receive new artificial limbs during the treatment in the sanatorium. There are 1883 mine survivors in Azerbaijan and 327 of them are the veterans of the Karabakh war. The total number of mine victims to be treated in frames of this project is 120. 24.06.06 FIRST PROJECT ON MVA IN AZERBAIJAN The first MVA project in Azerbaijan was singed between ANAMA and Shafali Eller in the ANAMA HQs on June 9, 2006. The event was significantly marked by the participation of the representatives of the Donor of the project, the European Commission. NNGO Shafali Eller was established in 1999. The main purpose of this organization is to provide medical and rehabilitation support to disabled people. Shafali Eller became involved in mine action in Azerbaijan in 2004 as one of the organizations contracted by ANAMA to undertake the Countrywide Mine Victim Needs Assessment Survey. When ANAMA announced a first tender on medical and social rehabilitation assistance for mine victims, Shafalli Eller submitted its proposal "Medical treatment of mine survivors in sanatorium" and won the competition among other NNGOs. The project will cover needs of 120 mine survivors whose health conditions require medical treatment in sanatorium and recreation. According to the ANAMA database, there are 1 883 mine survivors in Azerbaijan. As almost all of them are in critical conditions and under disadvantageous social circumstances, it was extremely difficult to choose those mine survivors which will receive the medical support under this project. By implementing of this project, ANAMA has taken the first step in creation opportunities for social assistance and reintegration of mine victims. There are three more projects to be implemented soon: Determining disability level of mine victims ; Integration of mine victims into society ; Continuing mine victims need assessment survey and strategy development. 21.06.06 AS A RESULT OF MRE ACTIVITY, ONE MORE ANTI-TANK MINE WAS DESTROYED Activity of the ANAMA MRE team aimed at the residents of mine-affected regions, especially refugees and IDP's, keeps on giving positive outcomes. On June 16, the local people spotted a suspicious item by the water of the Khachin River in Tartar region, and informed the local authorities and ANAMA regional sub-office on this finding. The ANAMA deminers identified that it was TM-62 anti-tank mine. The situation was complicated by the fact, that the mine was hide under the electric power pillar and totally entailed by the electric cord. Due to the safety reasons, the mine was pulled out of the power line area and destroyed in a distance in order to minimize any potential damage. 21.06.06 COOPERATION WITH UNICEF ON MRE IS FURTHER CONTINUED A bilateral meeting between ANAMA Director and Mr. Radoslaw Rzehak, UNICEF Project Officer - Child Protection, took place in the ANAMA headquarter on June 14. The ultimate aim of the meeting was to discuss the implementation of the joint projects in the year of 2006. The parties exchanged their thoughts on the continued cooperation between ANAMA and UNICEF. Following this meeting, ANAMA developed and submitted to UNICEF its proposals. 16.06.06 EOD BOT JOINS THE OPERATIONS EODBOT System (the EODBOT system is a remotely controlled vehicle (Bobcat) equipped with devices to lift and remove explosive remnants of war (ERW) as well as other debris. EODBOT is deployed for the training of ANAMA personnel and field evaluation of the equipment as part of the U.S. Government's Humanitarian Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War Abatement Efforts. Currently EODBOT is deployed in Saloglu village, Aghstafa region to support UXO clearance operations on the territories of the former military base. It is planned to use this machine for further UXO clearance operations to make them more safe. 15.06.06 EC MISSION EVALUATES ANAMA's ACTIVITY The representatives of the European Commission (EC) visited ANAMA to get familiar with the ANAMA's activity and to evaluate the EC supported projects. The EC is one of the major donors of ANAMA since 2002. With the support of the EC the countrywide Socio-Economic Landmine Impact Survey was conducted. The EC also supported establishment and development of the mechanical demining capacity, establishment of the second regional base, mine risk education (MRE) projects and mine victim assistance (MVA). In 2005 the EC allocated funding for MRE, implementation of the MVA projects, marking and fencing of low-priority mine suspected areas. On 8 June 2006, the EC representatives visited ANAMA facilities in Fizuli district to acquaint with the ANAMA's operational activity on site. On June 9, 2006 the EC representatives were hosted in the ANAMA HQs and had a meeting with the ANAMA Director and agency staff. The documentary demonstration, reflecting mine and UXO problem in Azerbaijan was presented for the guests. During the meeting the visitors were briefed on the ANAMA current activities, short and long-term strategies and plans for the upcoming years. The discussion was mainly focused on the Mine Risk Education and Mine Victims Assistance which are considered by ANAMA as important components of mine action. The signing of the first in Azerbaijan MVA project between ANAMA and NNGO "Shefali Eller" had taken place during the meeting. The aim of the project is to provide medical and rehabilitation support to 120 mine victims. The guests highly appreciated ANAMA's activity and expressed their hopes on continued cooperation between EC and ANAMA. 31.05.06 ANAMA-ITF: COOPERATION TOWARDS SUPPORT MINE ACTION ACTIVITIES IN AZERBAIJAN During the period of 23-25 May 2006 ANAMA hosted the ITF delegation headed by Mr.Goran Gacnik, Director of ITF and composed of Mr. Iztok Hocevar, Head of the Department of International Relations, Mr. Luka Buhin, Program Manager for Caucasus and Mr. Nermin Hadzimujagic, Director of the Mine Detection Dog Center for South East Europe(MDDCSEE) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The visit mainly aimed at the evaluation and assessment of the two ongoing projects financed by the DFID UK through ITF to support ANAMA Emergency Response Team and Training and Quality Assurance Team. Also within this visit ANAMA Director and MDDCSEE Director have discussed the key issues regarding current partnership and possibilities for further cooperation between ANAMA and MDDCSEE. In ANAMA HQ ITF representatives were briefed on the current status of the projects. The trip to the field and site briefings were organized for visitors to demonstrate demining operations. On May 25, the ITF mission visited the Rehabilitation Center for disabled persons and met with representatives of the ICRC, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, different NGOs and other parties concerned to discuss joint cooperation in the field of Mine Victims Assistance. 26 .05.06 CONTINUED MRE ACTIVITY GIVES SUCCESSFUL RESULTS MRE is considered as a priority issue for ANAMA and implementing partners. Early April 2006 Mr. N. Ismaylov, ANAMA Director released a special order tasking ANAMA's implementing partners the Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF), Relief Azerbaijan (RA) and teams working under Agency's supervision to strengthen awareness and risk education related activities in the operations ongoing districts. Integration of MRE into schools' curricular and establishing of the Community Based MRE committees has raised awareness of locals, especially school children who immediately report their findings and mark the place. MRE activities within school programs are continuously supported by ANAMA's implementing partners and involve Regional Managers through the monitoring and evaluation missions. The schools are provided with necessary amount of posters and some other visual materials. New MRE billboards are set up in contaminated sites of the targeted communities. Referring to the principles of the Ottawa Convention ANAMA with the financial support of the UNICEF/Azerbaijan implements a "Painting Contest" under a motto "A Mine Free World". The event started on the 4th of April among the school children in Fizuli district. All the measures conducted within MRE program to date have produced successful effect. Reports and appeals of the local population including schoolchildren received by ANAMA during April and May are also proving the effectiveness of the undertaken MRE activity. Referring to the last MRE report of the IEPF NNGO 10 mines and UXOs have been found and destroyed based on the locals' appeals in April 2006. "Relief Azerbaijan" in its MRE report informed on two rockets found in Agdam district during May. First of them was found by locals in the cultivated area of the Hajimammadly village. The second rocket was found and reported by the school children in Evoglu village, Agdam. Both rockets were destroyed in situ. 23.05.06 BASIC DEMINING COURSE Since the end of the last year ANAMA received several requests for clearance. Among those requests 2 tasks were of the high priority such as Zobchuk project requested by the Government and house clearance requested by the Norwegian Refuge Council. Both projects are taking place in Fizuli region. In order to implement those tasks in time ANAMA decided to continue further development of the capacity. Therefore, ANAMA organized selection process of candidates and on May 15, 2006 started a new 'Basic Demining Course' for 31 students and 2 listeners. The course will last for 5 weeks at the ANAMA Regional Training Base in Khanlar region. At the end of the training which is planned for the mid June 2006 those students who pass the final test will be certificated to implement mine action activities. 23.05.06 MDD LICENSING OPERATIONS At the very beginning of this year ANAMA received 5 MDDs gratefully donated by the Marshal Legacy Institute. On January 23 ANAMA started the training of the new dogs which lasted for 14 weeks. ANAMA Ops Department conducted licensing of newly trained 5 MDDs and currently all the dogs are involved in demining operations. 22.05.06 ANAMA CONTINUES DEVELOPING THE MECHANICAL DEMINING CAPACITY The modified Bozena 4 is expected to arrive in Azerbaijan on 29 May 2006. The modified version has proved its eficiency as contributing to demining operations since 2004. Three staff members of ANAMA, Special Equipment Officer Mr.Arif Aliyev, Mechanical Demining Team Leader Mr.Rufat Hajiyev and MDM driver-mechanic Mr.Nadir Aliyev have visited the WAY INDUSTRY producing factory. During the visit ANAMA representatives participated in the machine assembling and testing process and also exchanged views and experience gained during successful use of Bozena in operations. 22.05.06 ANAMA ATTENDED THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM "HUMANITARIAN DEMINING 2006" IN CROATIA ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov and Operations Manager Mr. Emil Hasanov participated on the Third International Symposium "Humanitarian Demining 2006" in Sibenik, Croatia. The Symposium was organized by the Croatian Mine Action Centre - CROMAC and Centre for Testing, Development and Training Ltd. It was aimed to cover the area of special interest for detection of mines and unexploded ordnance. During the symposium the ANAMA representatives had a chance to share their experience and knowledge in mine action. Furthermore, a number of field demonstrations and tests were held on the strengths and weaknesses of the operational procedures being used in different countries.