Skip to content

Accelerating mine action progress in the Middle East and North Africa: the multiplier effect of capacity and cooperation in Lebanon

Despite being affected by armed conflicts over the past decades and recent economic turmoil, Lebanon stands out as a regional leader in mine action. The programme with strong national ownership is aligned with international standards and good practices across areas, supported by the Regional School for Humanitarian Demining in Lebanon (RSHDL). The school plays a crucial role as a hub for training and exchange under the GICHD’s Arab Regional Cooperation Programme.

For over two decades, the GICHD has collaborated closely with the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC), with notable results when the partnership was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015. This partnership allows for strategic work to develop capacities throughout Lebanon and the MENA region, sharing knowledge, experiences and good practices to create a multiplier effect.

Hear more from Colonel Ahmed Lababidi from LMAC

Watch the video

Over the past couple of years the Lebanese Mine Action Center (LMAC) has been ranked amongst the top Mine Action Centers worldwide.

UN Development Programme, 2022

Setting the stage for progress

From 2016 to 2018, the GICHD supported LMAC’s process to improve national standards, especially relating to operational efficiency and land release. Lebanon has adopted land release, information management and quality management standards that conform with IMAS. Strong national standards have contributed to improve operational effectiveness and ensure clearance and release are evidence-based. The Mine Action Review expects progress “to be accelerated by adoption of better land release procedures in recent years.”

In a region troubled by armed conflicts and a comprehensive and complex EO challenge, the growing authority of LMAC as a centre of excellence and a regional training hub is welcomed.

UN Development Programme, 2022

LMAC has steadily strengthened its NMAS over the last five years.

Mine Action Review, 2022

Better prioritisation and decision making through information management

For over a decade, a cornerstone of Lebanon’s mine action activities has been the GICHD-developed IMSMA. Data-driven decisions on how to prioritise work and clear landmines and other explosive ordnance have built the foundation for effective and efficient humanitarian demining operations.

From 2018 to 2021, the GICHD supported LMAC to strengthen their information management efforts and upgrade from the former version of the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) New Generation to IMSMA Core. The transition to a centralised system has already improved accuracy of information, prioritisation, and coordination. As of 2022, LMAC is working to increase transparency by translating IMSMA Core data into dashboards for stakeholders, including donors, to monitor and follow.

Hear more about information management in Lebanon from Major Ahmad Lamaa, LMAC

Watch the video

The IMSMA Core took our national MA programme to an advanced level of understanding and analysing data. It improves our decision making and provides better dissemination of information to a wide range of stakeholders.

General Jihad Bechelany Director, LMAC

Institutionalising Gender, Diversity and Inclusion for more effective mine action

From strategic level to work on the ground, the GICHD has enabled progress in mainstreaming gender and diversity in mine action in Lebanon to ensure that, “the specific needs and perspectives of women, girls, men and boys from all groups of society are considered” (2020-2025 LMAP Strategy). GICHD’s work began with a gender and diversity capacity assessment in 2019 and continued with support for gender and diversity action plans, frameworks, and responsive systems.

Advancements have been made including the collection of gender and age disaggregated data for victims and mine action beneficiaries, integrated into the IMSMA Core system, and the successful piloting of Regional and Global Gender Focal Point trainings.

LMAC is leading on a gender and diversity-sensitive victim assistance framework to improve access to equal employment opportunities for both survivors and victims’ families. LMAC has a trained gender focal point and is working to improve the ratio of women to men employed further. In 2022, 11% of LMAC employees were women – more than double the 5% average of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Hear more from Lina Shaheen, Demining Team Leader, DCA

Watch the video

The training empowered me to have the confidence to talk about gender and inclusion considerations with senior management in country and at HQ.

Hiba Ghandor Programme Officer, MAG Lebanon, 2019 – 2021 Participant, GICHD Gender Focal Point Capacity Development Programme hosted at the RSHDL

Progress made across borders: a commitment to lead in the region

Creating a multiplier effect from the progress in Lebanon, the partnership between the GICHD and LMAC through the Regional School for Humanitarian Demining in Lebanon is a strong affirmation of joint commitment to south-south cooperation and capacity building in mine action. Since 2015, the GICHD has supported capacity development at the RSHDL, hosting global, regional and national trainings, which have broadly contributed to better mine action across various work areas.

The Regional School also been a hub for regional and international cooperation, both as a venue for Regional Directors Meetings and other conferences and as a meeting place for governments from the African, Asia Pacific, Eastern and Western European regions to exchange knowledge and good practices.

Hear more about the regional school from Major Ahmad Lamaa

Watch the video

The Regional School for Humanitarian Demining in Lebanon (RSHDL) is uniquely placed to provide support and training to government institutions, UN agencies, INGOs and other humanitarian mine action actors throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Zeina Akar Former Minister of National Defence & Head of National Mine Action Authority in Lebanon

Stronger national standards for better clearance and land release

NMAS updated with GICHD support

Improved accuracy of information, prioritisation, and coordination through

unified information management system

The GICHD is very important for us; they support us in mine action.

Brig. Gen. Ziad Nasr Former Director, LMAC

EO Contamination in Lebanon

2015 - 2021 LMAC Reported Land Release

40 %
in AP mine contamination 11.6 km2 released
60 %
in CRM contamination 10 km2 released
North Governorate declared free from the impact of mines

With more land release, families will start using their lands for agricultural production and other development projects. In fact, this return to rural areas and agricultural production has never been more important following the serious economic and financial crisis.

LMAC, 2022

About the GICHD

The GICHD works towards reducing risks to communities caused by all types of explosive ordnance: landmines, cluster munitions, explosive remnants of war and unsafely and insecurely managed conventional ammunition. As an internationally recognised centre of expertise and knowledge, the GICHD helps national authorities, international and regional organisations, NGOs and commercial operators in affected states and territories to develop and professionalise mine action and ammunition management.

Through its work, the GICHD strives for the implementation of conventions, for completion targets to be reached, for protection from explosive harm, and for land, housing, and infrastructure to be returned to communities. These efforts are in support of sustainable livelihoods, for gender equality and inclusion to be achieved, and for women and girls to be empowered. This work saves lives, facilitates the safe return of displaced populations, and promotes peaceful and sustainable development.

Norms & standards

Dialogue and cooperation

Advice & training

Knowledge & research

2015 – 2021 Progress at a Glance

54 +
Countries & territories supported

165 +
Training courses facilitated

40 +
Publications & resources developed

Support for National Mine Action Strategies


Support for International Standards

New IMAS drafted & approved by the IMAS review board

Support for International Ammunition Technical Guidelines

IATG modules revised & approved by the IATG Technical Review Board