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Assistance options

The aim of all assistance measures is to enhance the safety of SALW/CA to prevent dangers related to the storage and the handling of SALW/CA. The safety of ammunition is essentially determined by the aspects of material and construction safety of ammunition, physical safety and security protection measures, and personnel and organizational measures for the safe handling of ammunition.

Risk evaluations, analyses and assessments are conducted to identify the dangers and risks inherent to the handling of SALW/CA.

Such risk assessments and the development of appropriate protective measures are based on the detailed knowledge of the chemical and physical effects of ammunition after an intended or also unintended initiation.

The individuals in an assessment team should have the relevant expertise in small arms issues or conventional ammunition, respectively. They should be able to work with national governments and relevant organizations to ensure a comprehensive assessment of the security situation before providing recommendations for action.

Evaluation of the situation by Staff Assessment Visits (SAVs)

Within the scope of technical assistance, it may be necessary to conduct one or more visits of experts to evaluate the situation in order to fulfill the request for assistance. Staff assessment visits are conducted to verify whether the requested assistance is necessary. The teams of experts determine the necessity of assistance in a situation assessment, which covers the following aspects:

  • Overview of locations (explosive quantity distance), type of storage, physical security and protection of the storage sites in order to assess the actual hazard situation.
  • Composition and condition of stockpiles on SALW/CA.
  • Assessment of the risks posed by these stockpiles.
  • Establishment of the quantity of SALW/CA to be destroyed.
  • Capacities for SALW/CA destruction.
  • Identification of the applied record-keeping and surveillance procedures.
  • Identification of the governmental responsibilities in stockpile management.
  • State of training of the SALW/CA handling personnel.
  • Determination of the required assistance measures, listed according to their priority.
  • First draft solutions (project proposals).


The findings and assessments of the team of experts should be summarized in a final assessment report, which should contain recommended measures in the following areas:

  • Enhancement of storage and security conditions.
  • Applicable procedures and safety requirements.
  • Identification of those parts of the stockpiles that should be destroyed.
  • Assessment of the costs and other implications.
  • Required training of ammunition handling personnel.


In this context, the report should emphasize the most urgent measures to be taken in order to achieve an immediate hazard reduction. Low-cost measures should be given priority.

These findings then serve as the foundation for subsequent steps to analyze and evaluate the situation, which will include further assessment visits by teams of experts to develop possible measures. The assessment visits of the teams of experts contribute to the situation assessment by gaining findings on

  • composition of stockpiles (nature and type of SALW, conventional ammunition, explosive material or detonating devices, quantities),
  • technical and organizational security measures, including aspects of stockpile management,
  • assessment of the risk posed by these stockpiles,
  • technical and financial feasibility of projects, and
  • further assistance measures.


Additional assessment visits may be conducted in the implementation phase to evaluate and document the progress achieved during the project or to identify further actions.

Assessment visits conducted upon conclusion of projects serve as follow-up and to document projects; at the same time, they may be the starting point of other projects in other fields, or they make help to develop a regional approach.

Follow-up measures

Based on the findings gained during the assessment visits, an overall project or individual problem-oriented projects are developed regarding:

  • Improvement of infrastructure.
  • Enhancement of management.
  • Creation of a central ammunition surveillance unit.
  • Destruction of surplus stockpiles.
  • Training of personnel involved in stockpile management and security and/or the destruction of SALW/CA.

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