MAG has achieved a major milestone in its innovative digital risk education work – reaching 50 million people worldwide, helping them to stay safe while living with the daily and deadly threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance.
MAG first delivered risk education messaging via social media in 2019 in partnership with Facebook and the US Government. The pilot aimed to deliver safety messages to people living in Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq – an area that had been heavily affected by the conflict between the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and Iraqi government forces.
MAG’s safety messages were shown 29 million times to 983,447 people in the area. Some 94 per cent of people surveyed in the community confirmed they had seen the ads on Facebook and that the ads helped them understand the risks posed by explosive hazards.
In 2021, following the success of the pilot and in response to major access challenges to humanitarian aid due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MAG launched digital explosive ordnance risk education in many countries around the world.
From Angola to Ukraine, Sri Lanka to Somalia, MAG now delivers practical safety information to at-risk communities via social media, television, radio, SMS messages and emergency hotlines, sharing advice on a broad range of issues from how to avoid exposure to white phosphorus bombs, to safely storing light weapons in the home.
MAG Digital Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Coordinator Robin Toal says: “By using targeted Facebook and Instagram ads, we can provide children and adults with the relevant knowledge needed to better protect themselves from the different threats they face in their own communities.
“With digital tools being more universally accessible and available at home, we can also reach people with limited mobility or sight and hearing impairments by using subtitles and spoken word audio.
“As we continue to embrace digital technologies, we hope to reach millions more people every year.”
MAG CEO Darren Cormack says: “Digital risk education is a vital part of MAG’s work, particularly as it allows us to deliver effective and timely safety messages to places where access to humanitarian aid is severely restricted, such as Gaza and too many other places around the world today.
“In every country where MAG is currently working, we remain committed to doing everything we can to help ease the suffering of those living in extreme hardship.”