Lebanon: DCA continues fight against landmines and cluster bombs with support from the U.S. Department of State

With a very generous donation of 1,170,266 USD, The U.S. Department of State’s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM-WRA) ensures DCA’s effort in clearing important agricultural areas of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

28.09.2016 Søren Jespersen

In Lebanon, vast areas of agricultural land and housing areas are contaminated with landmines and ERW, hindering agricultural activities as well as the development of businesses and infrastructure. With an estimated population of 5.9 million people— including 1.5 million vulnerable Lebanese and 1.5 million Syrian refugees—the contamination problem is even more acute because of Lebanon’s size and population density. With only 30% of the territory usable for agriculture, land availability is crucial to meet the needs for socio-economic development (construction, agriculture, etc.).

During 2016, with support from PM-WRA, DCA and its national partner organization the Lebanese Association for Mines & Natural Disaster Action (LAMiNDA) are undertaking Battle Area Clearance (BAC) operations in South Lebanon. In addition to removing contamination and allowing access to economic opportunities, the project is also raising awareness on risks posed by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).

With the grant from PM-WRA, DCA is able to continue these efforts and to continue assisting the national authorities in establishing tangible, immediate results for the national population through clearance activities. The project will also support the effort to sustain national capacity in Lebanon through the capacity building of LAMiNDA and cooperation with LMAC.

“This is an important and welcome contribution toward ridding Lebanon of the threat of death and injury from unexploded ordnance. We will be able to intensify our work to save lives and improve livelihoods. And Lebanon will come a step closer the goal of no more landmine or cluster munition contamination”, says Richard MacCormac, Head of Humanitarian Mine Action in DCA.

The project will start on the 1st of October 2016 and will run until the 30th of September 2017.