Emergency Response

MAG has a track record of responding quickly and efficiently to humanitarian emergencies arising as a result of conflict.

As a pre-qualified partner of the UK’s Disaster Response Network, MAG is often the first humanitarian organisation on the ground once the fighting has ceased and, as was the case in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, can even respond where natural disasters have caused damage to ammunition stores or other facilities.

 Emergency response: Iraq 2013-16 (ongoing) • Philippines 2013/14 • Mali 2013/14 • Brazzaville, Republic of Congo 2012 • Libya 2011 • Gaza 2009 • Lebanon 2006 • Iraq 2002/2003

Our landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance and risk education work not only minimises casualties, but enables other NGOs to carry out their emergency relief and rehabilitation operations.

We also play a key role in the provision of planning and support to local and national authorities.



Iraq 2013-16, ongoing: LATEST NEWS HERE

MAG's latest emergency response in Iraq began in 2013, with the removal and destruction of hazardous items such as shells and mortars in the Kurdistan Region to enable a camp for Syrian refugees to be built.

Clearance, along with risk education, continued in 2014 to help internally displaced people fleeing the violence.

The ongoing conflict has led to more than three million people being displaced within Iraq. Of these, an estimated 30 per cent are residing in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, increasing pressure on all resources, including safe land. 

Already extensively affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) as a result of various conflicts spanning more than 40 years, Iraq is now also suffering from new contamination. This and the deadly legacy of previous wars is presenting a significant threat, particularly for mobile populations in unfamiliar areas and those attempting to return home to areas recently affected by the violence.

Philippines 2013/14

Typhoon Haiyan caused a huge storm surge, five to eight metres high, to hit the city of Tacloban. An ammunition storage depot close to Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport was very badly damaged, and stored munitions – including air-to-air rockets with white phosphorous warheads – were dispersed over a wide civilian area.

In response, MAG was on the ground undertaking an assessment of needs within days of the Typhoon. See how MAG trained personnel from the Philippines army, air force and navy to clear the area polluted by potentially lethal explosive items.

The proximity of the damaged depot to the airport runway can be seen below:

Munitions depot at Tacloban airport


Mali 2013/14

Provision of Risk Education for people affected by the conflict. Read more about MAG's work in Mali.

Brazzaville, Republic of Congo 2012

A devastating series of explosions at a military depot storing arms and ammunition in the centre of the city killed 282 people, injured 1,500 and left 14,000 without homes. After the blasts, communities remained at grave risk from unstable projectiles scattered across the Republic of Congo's capital.

Below is a TV news report on the disaster:

Within 24 hours, MAG began emergency Community Liaison in affected areas; three emergency hotlines were established, enabling unexploded ordnance to be reported; the Red Cross were briefed in Risk Education to help during efforts to rescue survivors and retrieve bodies; and 74 Red Cross volunteers working with people who had been evacuated or made homeless were trained in Risk Education, to spread safety messages.

In addition, MAG's Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams removed hundreds of thousands of dangerous items.

MAG Chief Executive Nick Roseveare said: "The response to this tragedy is an example of how organisations like MAG, affected states, and the international community can provide rapid assistance after an explosion." Below is a radio broadcast from shortly after the disaster:

Libya 2011

Provision of Risk Education and clearance of ammunition supply points damaged during the fighting.

Gaza 2009

As an implementing partner of the United Nations Mine Action Service, MAG identified and prioritised communities affected by unexploded ordnance for emergency clearance activities.

Lebanon 2006

Four emergency teams were deployed the day after the announcement of the ceasefire, clearing 955 dangerous items and recording 28 dangerous areas during the first week.

Iraq 2002/2003

Already present during the war, MAG remained operational, assisting those most at risk from death and injury through Risk Education and the rapid deployment of clearance teams to newly liberated areas.


  Landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance

  Risk education

  Arms Management and Destruction

  Frequently asked questions