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Lebanon

Lebanon flag

Around four million cluster submunitions were fired into Lebanon during the July-August 2006 Israeli hostilities.

New report: Cluster Munition Contamination In Lebanon [PDF download]

Farming on land cleared of cluster submunitions

MAG teams have made 17 million metres² of land safe in Lebanon since 2006.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG


The problems

Around four million cluster submunitions were fired into Lebanon during the July-August 2006 Israeli hostilities.

As well as cluster bombs contamination dating from 2006, there is also the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) caused by the 15 years of civil conflict that ended in 1990.

The presence of mines, UXO and cluster munitions hinder reconstruction and render farmland unusable.

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.
LandminesA landmine is defined by the Mine Ban Treaty as "a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle."

Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.

Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.
Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.Cluster munitionsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

How MAG is helping in Lebanon

MAG teams in the centre and south of the country have made 17 million metres² of land safe since 2006, through the removal and destruction of cluster bombs, landmines and UXO.

As well as removing and destroying the dangers, we also give risk education sessions, to help people stay safe until land is cleared. From September 2013 to March 2014 alone, our community liaison teams in Lebanon delivered 213 of these sessions to more than 1,000 men, women and children.

MAG’s work plays an integral part in the implementation of the Lebanese Mine Action Strategy 2011-2020, which emphasises the need for continued mine action to achieve a Lebanon free from the impact of landmines, cluster bombs and UXO by 2021.

In 2014, we completed a national survey of cluster munition strike areas that highlights the impact these deadly explosive devices have on communities and development. This is the only survey of its type carried out in the country since the 2006 conflict.

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.
LandminesA landmine is defined by the Mine Ban Treaty as "a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle."

Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.

Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.
Risk EducationRisk Education (or Mine Risk Education) refers to activities that seek to reduce the risk of death and injury from landmines and other explosive weapons, and lessen their social and economic impact.

Risk Education includes the provision of safety messages to at-risk individuals and communities, raising awareness of the dangers and promoting safe behaviour.
Community LiaisonCommunity Liaison involves working with communities, development agencies and local authorities to gather information about the location and extent of landmines and other explosive weapons, and how their presence is affecting the way people live from day to day.

Risk Education (also known as Mine Risk Education) is an important part of Community Liaison. This involves giving tailored safety messages to help minimise the risk for people living / working / travelling through contaminated areas.

"I found more than 50 cluster bombs around my house, and MAG came and cleared them and then searched the land." Hear from the people we help

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

How MAG works in Lebanon

At the heart of our approach are our demining teams. MAG trains and employs staff from Lebanon, enabling people to contribute to the rehabilitation of their own country. 

As part of our integrated approach to removing cluster bombs, mines and UXO, we also use:

Machinery: Mechanical assets with functional attachments, in addition to manual clearance procedures, are available to assist in all clearance activities. 

Mine detection dogs: Specially trained detection dogs help with conducting technical survey and also increase the efficiency of the clearance process. These are provided by the Lebanese army via the Lebanese and Regional Mine Action Centres and are a key part of MAG’s integrated approach. 

Battle area clearance: Through prioritised clearance of battle areas, with a particular focus on cluster munitions, MAG enables local communities to reclaim their land.

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.
Battle Area Clearance'Battle Area Clearance' (BAC) refers to the systematic and controlled clearance of hazardous areas where the hazards are known not to include mines.

[Source: A Guide to International Mine Action Standards, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining]
Cluster munitionsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

Our partners in Lebanon

MAG's work in Lebanon is supported by:

• Asfari Foundation

• Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

• European Commission

• Fibertek

• Japanese Government

• Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Stichting Vluchteling

Other countries MAG works in

Africa

AngolaBurundiChadDemocratic Republic of CongoLibyaMaliSomaliaSouth Sudan

Asia

CambodiaLaosMyanmarPhilippinesSri LankaVietnam

Central America

Honduras

Middle East

Iraq

Page updated: 29 January 2015

Our impact in Lebanon, July-December 2014

• Men, women and children we helped: 32,467

• Land we returned to safe and productive use: 327,408m²

• Cluster bomb submunitions removed & destroyed: 255

MAG in Lebanon

• Programme began: 2000

• Our main activities:
Landmine clearance
Cluster munition clearance
Minefield marking
Risk education
Non-technical survey
Battle area clearance

• Our work supports:
Agriculture
Infrastructure development

About Lebanon

Population: 4.43 million

Life expectancy: 73 years

Gross National Income per capita: US$9,190

People with access to safe drinking water: 100%

People below the poverty line: 28%

Figures: CIA, UNDP, UN Water, World Bank

Risk EducationRisk Education (or Mine Risk Education) refers to activities that seek to reduce the risk of death and injury from landmines and other explosive weapons, and lessen their social and economic impact.

Risk Education includes the provision of safety messages to at-risk individuals and communities, raising awareness of the dangers and promoting safe behaviour.
Non-technical surveyNon-Technical Surveys (NTS) involve collecting and analysing information - eg. through desk assessments, analysis of historical records, and location visits - to assess whether areas are contaminated by landmines/unexploded ordnance.Battle Area Clearance'Battle Area Clearance' (BAC) refers to the systematic and controlled clearance of hazardous areas where the hazards are known not to include mines.

[Source: A Guide to International Mine Action Standards, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining]

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