Innovative Finance for Mine Action is a new report by The HALO Trust and Social Finance. It shares findings of a six-month scoping study into how innovative development finance could bolster support for mine action.
What is clear from this report is that innovative funding has the potential for the mine action sector to operate at the scale needed and to achieve an even greater impact.
This report was written by Camille Wallen, Peter Nicholas, Marie-Alphie Dallest and Anna von Griesheim. It was developed in partnership with Social Finance with funding support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987), Artist
The anti-landmine movement was formed by people motivated and willing to do things differently. And there can be no doubt that the world would be a different place without the mine action community’s work since its origins in the 1980s. International law would be weaker. Millions of people would be worse off. And countless lives and limbs would have been lost.
But our work has never been static. We have constantly evolved to keep pace with the changing world and challenges around us. We have responded to new wars, now more complex, protracted and urbanised than ever. We changed how we work to keep operations running during COVID. And we are all still changing as we identify and address barriers to equality and inclusion.
The mine action sector now needs to be bold and evolve when it comes to addressing major shortfalls in funding.
Innovative Finance For Mine Action
Funding for clearance of landmines and explosive ordnance comes primarily through single year bilateral grants and contracts from generous and wealthy governments. Annual funding levels have been broadly consistent over the last decade, averaging around the $500m mark. This doesn’t meet the growing needs caused by ongoing conflict. And the multi-dollar deficit in the global mine action budget isn’t closing.
The traditional forms of funding to mine action are essential to maintain the strength of the sector. But we cannot continue to ask the same few donors for more funding every year and hope for the best. This was true before, but it is even more so in light of recent economic pressures brought about by COVID.
The mine action sector has the opportunity to look towards impact investment and new models of finance available in capital markets. It needs to embrace it.
Innovative development finance started in the early 2000s. Over the following decade, the market grew in scale at 11 per cent growth, reaching nearly 9 billion dollars in 2012. It has continued to grow in scale and scope since.
Innovative Finance for Mine Action follows six months of research by Social Finance, working in partnership with The HALO Trust. It draws on input and expertise from the mine action community, while harnessing experience of innovative finance models from beyond it. It presents these models in a number of contexts to show how innovative finance can support their national strategies.
The research team looked at how three different forms of alternative finance – outcomes finance, Public Private Partnership, and front-loading mechanisms – could be applied across different mine action contexts. Findings were unambiguous. There is clear potential for these models in most mine-affected countries. And it showed how new sources of finance can build on existing commitments to achieve our sector’s long-term objectives.
Camille Wallen, Director of Strategy, HALO
Innovative development finance for mine action is not just about funding. It is about enabling national ownership. It is about enhancing accountability. It is about incentivising green markets and investment. And is about supporting sustainable, inclusive and equitable development at all levels.
Of course there is more to consider. Change is rarely easy. If we are honest, it is mostly challenging and involves hard work. But that is always the case when it comes to innovation, and we are not afraid to rise to the challenge.
What we now know is that innovative finance has the potential for our sector to operate at the scale needed and achieve an even greater impact. Innovative finance for mine action is no longer about whether or if. It is about how, where and when.