In fiscal year 2022, U.S. investments in conventional weapons destruction programs in the Middle East and North Africa enhanced regional stability and improved human security. In Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria, improvised explosive devices, landmines, and explosive remnants of war emplaced by ISIS are a threat to displaced families returning home and impede stabilization efforts and local economic development. According to the 2022 Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, of the six countries worldwide with the highest number of civilian casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war in 2021, three are in the Middle East—Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—due in large part to the ongoing conflicts in these countries. In Syria alone, 1,227 landmine casualties were reported in 2021. In 2022, intensive flooding in Yemen washed many landmines into roads and other civilian areas, causing numerous injuries and fatalities.
Since 1993, the U.S. conventional weapons destruction program has invested more than $1 billion in the Middle East and North Africa for explosive hazard survey and clearance, explosive ordnance risk education, survivor assistance, and both demining and munitions management capacity development. Together these programs help lay the groundwork for stability and prosperity across the region.
Through U.S. support, our implementing partners accomplished the following in fiscal year 2022:
- 39,811,885 square meters (9,838 acres) of land was safely returned to communities
- 920,000 square meters (227 acres) of land were surveyed for cluster munition remnants
- 7,677 landmines were destroyed
- 27,865 explosive remnants of war were destroyed
- 8,984 improvised explosive devices or components were destroyed
- 20 metric tons of unserviceable ammunition were destroyed
- 1,267 explosive ordnance disposal callouts were conducted in response to urgent requests for suspected unexploded ordnance to be investigated and rendered safe
- 998,146 individuals received explosive ordnance risk education
- 1,343 survivors of explosive ordnance received medical or psychological support
The United States is the world’s leading financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction, providing more than $4.6 billion in assistance to more than 120 countries and areas since 1993. For more information on U.S. humanitarian demining and conventional weapons destruction programs, see the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter @StateDeptPM.