MAG’s response in Gaza highlights our ability to react quickly and effectively to post-conflict humanitarian emergencies.
An area of continuing unrest, the most recent conflict in the Gaza Strip occurred from 27 December 2008 until 18 January 2009. Land, sea and air bombardment as well as ground combat resulted in large amounts of unexploded ordnance (UXO) remaining in civilian areas.
How MAG helped
Even before the ceasefire was agreed MAG deployed two of its most senior technical experts to the Gaza Strip, at the request of the resident humanitarian coordinator Max Gaylard, to coordinate and plan the Emergency Response along with representatives from UNMAS.
This response was endorsed by the Inter Agency Co-ordination Group for Mine Action (IACG-MA) and saw MAG assess schools, health facilities, main transport routes and other important infrastructure for UXO contamination. At the same time, MAG conducted UXO Awareness Briefings with vulnerable groups to alert them to the new dangers posed by UXO and educate them on how to mitigate these risks. This work greatly helped to facilitate the delivery of aid by the UN and development community in the immediate aftermath of the conflict.
The only specialist mine action NGO working in Gaza, MAG then took on a role supporting the early recovery phase, helping to facilitate rehabilitation and development projects by a number of UN Agencies and NGOs. MAG conducted this work as the implementing partner of UNMAS, who together with medical support from Global Medic and MSB (the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) formed the UN Mine Action Team-Gaza Office. As part of this MAG maintained a 24/7 Emergency Response capacity throughout its operational period in Gaza.
Find out more
- United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) [external site]
- Alertnet profile: Israeli-Palestinian conflict [external site]
- BBC profile: Gaza strip [external site]
- Landmine Monitor Report: Palestine [external site]
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MAG would like to express its thanks to the following donors to its Gaza operations: UK Department for International Development (DFID); United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).