Decades of armed conflict in Lebanon have left behind a legacy of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) scattered throughout the entire country. The presence of landmines, cluster munitions and other ERW in Lebanon has had a socioeconomic impact, which goes beyond the obvious danger to people’s lives and livelihoods, since it hinders development of contaminated areas and denies access to agricultural land that is one of the primary sources of income.
The pressure on land, infrastructure and services in Lebanon has been even higher in recent years due to continuous influx of refugees from Syria. The Syrian crisis has increased Lebanon's population by 28% in less than five years, contributing to the already severe socio-economic situation and putting serious pressure on already overburdened public services and host communities, including health and education services and access to employment. Lebanon currently hosts about 1.5 million refugees, mostly from neighboring Syria (UN / Government of Lebanon). This situation was further exacerbated by the explosion in the Port of Beirut with devastating health, psychological and material consequences. Vulnerable groups in Lebanon (including mine/ERW victims, victims of the Beirut explosion, Syrian refugees) urgently need long-term support, while the current COVID-19 pandemic is heavily overloading health services in the country.
What we do
Clearance of Cluster Munitions and other ERW
ITF has supported the clearance of cluster munitions and other ERW in Southern Lebanon since 2009. Until end of August 2015, almost 1.3 square kilometres of land were cleared with 1,037 dangerous items found and destroyed. Cleared land was handed over to local communities for further productive use. As the pressure on land is high and rising due to the severe economic crisis, clearance and risk education activities have an even greater socio-economic and life-saving value for the growing population of Lebanon.
ITF has enabled physical rehabilitation of 20 mine/ERW victims and supported coordination between the members of National Victim Assistance Steering Committee. In 2021-2022, ITF is implementing a project of addressesing the urgent health, psychosocial and economic needs of 185 vulnerable individuals in Lebanon to help improve the overall quality of their lives and facilitate their reintegration into social, political and economic life.
In 2015, ITF enhanced national capacities by training and providing 5 mine detection dogs to Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC). The dogs are used in quality control executed by LMAC over the works of international and national NGOs.