Libya

Joint Mine Action Coordination Team – Weekly Report, 9 January 2012

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JMACT Welcomes 2012 with Renewed Commitment but Still Lacks Sufficient Resources

At the end of 2011, the Joint Mine Action Coordination Team (JMACT) launched an appeal for greater support towards reducing the contamination of mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Libya. Without greater funds, life-saving mine action work would be forced to reduce even in the face of rising threats.

At the start of this new year, that message still rings true. The JMACT is now beginning to work in coordination with the newly formed Libya Centre for Mine Action and Remnants of War, itself a strong signal of Libya’s desire to help recover from the destruction caused by the war.

However, as survey teams uncover new threats in previously inaccessible parts of the country, the response required is greater than the current capacity of both the JMACT and the national authority combined.

“It’s the beginning of a new year, which always means the opportunity to renew commitment towards whatever challenges you’re facing,” says UNMAS Programme Manager Max Dyck. “The challenge we’re facing here in Libya with respect to mines and other ERW is immense. But in this case, commitment just isn’t enough to get the job done.”

Several donors heard that message loud and clear, and stepped up to the plate to fight this battle alongside the Libyan Government and the JMACT. Australia gave $2 million to the JMACT; Germany gave 750,000 Euros to the Libya Centre for Mine Action and Remnants of War. But that is a mere fraction of the funds needed to continue the surveying, clearance operations, and risk education that it will take to eliminate the risk of these weapons to Libyans.