Department of State Supports “American Task Force for Lebanon” and MAG in Clearance of Explosive Remnants of War in Lebanon
The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has awarded $200,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) as part of a two-to-one matching grant for sub-munitions clearance in Lebanon with the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL), which succeeded in raising $100,000 in private donations in September.
Since August 2006, the United Nations reports that there have been 44 fatalities and 298 injuries from explosive remnants of war in Lebanon. More than half of the land contaminated by explosive remnants of war in the August 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel has already been cleared by MAG and other demining organizations, thanks to generous donors, including ATFL and the United States Government. The grant provided by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement and the funds raised by the ATFL supported Battle Area Clearance operations by six MAG mine action teams for over one month, including mechanical clearance. These teams cleared more than 112,000 square meters of land.
The American Task Force for Lebanon (http://www.atfl.org/) is a nonprofit organization comprised primarily of dedicated Americans of Lebanese heritage and others who share a common interest in Lebanon. MAG (http://www.maginternational.org/) is a humanitarian organization that clears the remnants of conflict to benefit communities worldwide.
The United States is the world’s leading provider of financial and technical assistance for humanitarian mine action. Since 1998, the U.S. has invested more than $42 million in humanitarian mine action in Lebanon, part of a total $1.8 billion in conventional weapons destruction assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide, that has contributed toward a dramatic global reduction in casualties from landmines and other explosive remnants of war. To learn more about the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s programs, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.