MAG has launched two emergency explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) campaigns in response to crises in Jenin Refugee Camp (West Bank) and Somalia.
MAG’s campaign in Jenin Refugee Camp aims to address the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance (UXO) following deadly confrontations in the camp earlier this month.
Working in partnership with UNMAS (the United Nations Mine Action Service), MAG launched a digital risk education campaign that reached 280,000 people in the West Bank in two weeks.
A Senior MAG specialist also delivered emergency face-to-face safety awareness advice to staff from UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) at the organisation’s request, enabling them to continue operating within the camp while mitigating the risk of injury or death through explosive ordnance and IEDs.
Sebastian Kasack, MAG’s Senior Community Liaison Advisor, said: “Since the events of early July, we are faced with a new and potentially lethal situation in the camp, where a number of IEDs and UXO are threatening the lives of refugees and staff alike.
“Our aim is to ensure we provide them with all the information they need to stay safe so services to refugees can continue uninterrupted.”
MAG is also ready to support the UN to roll out a major risk education initiative for school pupils in and around Jenin, which has been the scene of devastating conflict in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, in Somalia, MAG deployed an emergency response following a tragic incident on June 9 involving unexploded ordnance in the Lower Shabelle region which claimed the lives of 27 people, including 22 children, and left 53 others injured. The tragedy was caused when several children discovered a mortar round in an open field that exploded.
In response to the incident, MAG developed adverts on social media to remind communities of the threat of unexploded ordnance, encouraging them not to stray into areas that could be contaminated by dangerous items. The ads are designed to appeal to children and young people by providing a simple, memorable message.
Parents are also being encouraged to share these messages with children who are not on social media. In Somalia, girls are often not allowed to use social media.
MAG has reached over 1.7million people through previous digital safety campaigns in Somalia and an estimated 90,000 people were reached by the latest emergency campaign.
Kasack said: “EORE is one of MAG’s key areas of expertise. We have developed and used it to great effect for many years around the world, and we are confident the information and training we provide will save lives and prevent injuries.”