Mine Action in South Lebanon
During the 2006 conflict, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) used artillery weapons, direct fire weapons, air-delivered munitions and naval artillery. Hezbollah used rockets and direct fire weapons. It is estimated that 2,000 - 3,000 items of ordnance were dropped per day during the first weeks of the conflict, rising to 5,000 - 6,000 per day for the last two weeks of the conflict.
The recent conflict has significantly increased the amount of contaminated area to be cleared of UXO, mines, booby traps and particularly cluster bombs. As of 17 October 2006, 778 individual cluster bomb strike locations have been confirmed and recorded. This contamination poses a direct threat to communities and internally displaced people, hampers humanitarian relief, impedes movement of peacekeeping troops, and hinders the already difficult task of reconstructing houses and essential infrastructure in the area. In the days since the cessation of hostilities, 134 civilian casualties, most of them from cluster bomb lets and sub-munitions, have already been reported.
Mine action activities in southern Lebanon are overseen by the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Southern Lebanon (MACC-SL). The MACC-SL was established pursuant to a Security Council resolution in 2001, is staffed jointly by United Nations and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) personnel, and is supported by UNMAS.
50% of the Austrian contribution will be allocated to supporting the ongoing Cluster Munition/UXO clearance operations in the region, whereas the other 50% of the funds will be used to support Victim Assistance (VA) and Mine Risk Education (MRE) projects which will be specified by the Lebanese National Steering Committeein and formulated in a National Plan for VA and MRE.