Lebanon is one of nine countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East to receive mine clearance, mine risk education and capacity development from DFID’s Global Mine Action Programme 2 (GMAP2). In Lebanon the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) will deliver a £2m programme with the support of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). GMAP2 Lebanon will also provide support to the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC) to help Lebanon better manage its own response to contaminated land.
Landmines continue to pose a daily threat to the people of Lebanon, blocking access to farm land which is essential to people’s livelihoods. Contamination across Lebanon is significant, especially in the South and certain border areas in the North East. The GMAP2 programme will make a significant impact on remaining contamination, and provide mine risk education to local residents.
New UK aid funded technology, including radar detectors, will help trace ammunition in a global area the size of more than 16,000 football pitches.
This demining work will protect more than 820,000 people from the threat of barbaric relics across war-ravaged communities across the world. UK support will also help educate a further 280,000 men, women and children about the dangers of landmines, an essential lifeline to safeguard entire communities from mutilation or death.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
“The crippling legacy of fear, mutilation and devastation, which landmines leave, must be wiped out for good.
“UK expertise and innovation are helping to shield vulnerable people from these barbaric relics and liberating land contaminated by these devices. This will allow the poorest people to grow crops, walk their children to school without fear and ultimately give them back control over their lives.”
Chief Executive of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Jane Cocking said:
“Global deaths and injuries from landmines have hit a ten-year high. Today, one person every hour is killed by a landmine and almost half are children.
“These new funds will help us to rid some of the world’s most conflict-affected countries of landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons at a crucial time, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
“As well as saving lives, this support will ensure vast areas of land can be returned to communities, improving lives and ensuring safe access to housing, education and medical facilities.”
James Cowan, CEO, The HALO Trust:
“The HALO Trust was founded exactly 30 years ago to free the world from the scourge of landmines for good. Today’s announcement from DFID moves us closer to that day and it should be a source of immense pride that UK aid is playing a key role in its realisation.
“Mine clearance is the very first step in creating stability, development and ultimately self-reliance for people whose lives continue to be blighted by conflicts long after they end. Thanks to British taxpayers, these people will now be able to live, learn and cultivate in safety.”
This latest partnership with The HALO Trust, MAG, Norwegian People’s Aid and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining is part of a UK commitment made at an event with HRH Prince Harry in April 2017 of £100 million support to make 150 square kilometres of land safe again over a three-year period.