Discover the answers to the most asked questions about HALO and our work, from how a landmine functions to applying to join the HALO family.
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Tell me about finances and fundraising
>> Who funds HALO?
HALO is funded by governments, members of the public, foundations, philanthropists and companies. Find out how your company could support HALO's work here.
>> Does HALO work with other organisations?
HALO partners with other NGOs in many of our programmes, including Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), Danish Church Aid (DCA), Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), Action Against Hunger (ACF), Development Assistance Organisation (DAO) and Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR).
HALO works closely with national demining authorities in most countries where we work.
>> What is your annual turnover?
For the financial year 2021/22 our turnover was £93.5 million. You can read our annual reports here.
>> How much of my donation goes to the cause?
HALO takes pride in ensuring that best value for money is achieved from donor funds. In 2022, 90 per cent of our turnover was spent directly on our field programmes, nine per cent on programme support and one percent on fundraising costs. Read our fundraising promise here.
You are welcome to specify which country or project your donation is allocated to.
>> How can I help raise money for HALO?
You can do anything to raise money for landmine clearance: remember us in your legacy, bake cakes, trek to the South Pole, drive from London to Cape Town, donate your birthday, host a gala, run a marathon.
Our amazing supporters have done all of these things to make people safe. Find inspiration on events and ideas page.
Depending on staff availability, HALO may be able to provide speakers for universities, colleges, schools or other community groups. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
Tell me more about working for HALO
>> How many people does HALO employ?
Our global staff headcount changes every month but during 2022 we employed from 10,000 to 13,000 men and women worldwide.
>> Can I volunteer for HALO?
Due to our strict safety protocols, it is not possible to volunteer in the field for HALO, however experienced qualified doctors, nurses and paramedics are welcome to apply to join our Medical Board.
>> How I can apply to work for HALO?
When a vacancy arises, we will advertise the role on our website under ‘Job Vacancies’ and also post on recruitment websites specialising in international development roles.
In addition to single vacancies that appear throughout the year HALO runs a specific recruitment round to appoint new international field operations staff annually. A smaller recruitment round is sometimes also held for candidates who are mid-career and may be seeking a a management role based in the field.
We are particularly keen to recruit more women and applicants from minority backgrounds. We welcome applicants from any country.
Deminers for our 28 country programmes are recruited locally.
HALO has offices in Scotland, England and the United States.
Tell me more about demining
>> How long is the training to be a deminer?
All HALO deminers undergo rigorous training, with additional training for supervisory roles. Trainee international operations managers undergo training in Cambodia for a minimum of seven months. As staff progress, some are selected for additional specialist training in areas such as clearance of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (grenades, shells and mortars), improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and air-dropped weapons. All training is conducted in accordance with the UN’s International Mine Action Standards.
>> Is mine clearance safe?
HALO’s daily work involves the removal and clearance of explosives designed to kill and maim. We therefore have rigorously strict safety standards and operating procedures, which are approved and monitored by the national authority in each country in which we work. They are strictly implemented in all our programmes and range from standards for blast-proof personal protection equipment, to prescribed safety distances when clearing mines. National authorities also conduct regular, unannounced safety inspections of our operations.
HALO’s Medical Board oversees all of HALO’s medical practices, including our casualty evacuation procedures and staff health issues. Medical board members make regular visits to country programmes to provide training and ensure standards are met.
Despite these measures, accidents do sometimes occur. Since 2009, 22 people have been killed while demining or handling explosive items. HALO’s average fatality rate corresponds with other mine clearance operators. Any non-planned detonation on a minefield is thoroughly investigated, whether it causes injury or not. External independent investigators are consulted in cases of serious accident. Lessons learned from accidents are incorporated into operating procedures globally.
In our 30th anniversary year in 2018 we held a multi-faith service of a remembrance for everyone who has died in HALO’s service and we commemorate our colleagues annually each World Humanitarian Day. We remain indebted to them all for their courage in working to make others safe.
>> Can animals clear landmines?
Animals can be trained to sniff out landmines, but the majority of terrain (such as jungle, sand dunes or bush) requires preparation by people. HALO prides itself on providing jobs and training to local people in desperate need of employment.
Tell me more about Landmines
>> What is a landmine?
A landmine is an explosive device designed to be initiated when stepped on by a person or when driven over by a vehicle. They can remain functional in the ground decades after they were laid. Contrary to how they are often portrayed in films, a landmine usually operates instantly: standing motionless will not stop detonation. Injuries caused by a landmine can range from the loss of a limb to death.
>> Aren’t landmines illegal?
Under the 1997 Landmine Ottawa Ban Convention, the production, laying and stockpiling of anti-personnel landmines has been banned by 164 countries who have pledged to destroy stockpiles and clear mines on their territories by 2025.
>> Why are landmines still a problem?
There are still 60 million people around the world who are directly affected by landmines. Millions of factory-produced landmines laid in the late 20th century remain in the ground and still have the capacity to kill and maim. Today homemade victim-initiated landmines or improvised explosive devices are increasingly being used in contemporary conflict.
>> What is an IED?
An improvised explosive device (IED) is classified as a landmine by the Ottawa Treaty if it is victim-initiated. It can be made by a mixture of homemade and factory produced components. Very often they are designed to function exactly as a landmine, in that they explode when a person stands on it or a vehicle drives over it.
>> How many countries are affected by landmines?
In December 2022 60 states and territories were known to be affected by landmines. The most severely affected countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya, Sri Lanka, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
>> Can’t countries pay to remove their own landmines?
Some can and some do. However, the majority of landmine affected states are still recovering from recent or historical conflicts and require external assistance in clearing their contamination.