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Reducing the humanitarian impact of weapon contamination

Even after a conflict ends, mines and such ‘explosive remnants of war’ as unexploded bombs, shells and cluster-munition bomblets continue to kill and maim. This deadly problem has a name: weapon contamination. It deprives entire populations of water, firewood, farmland, health care and education. It impedes relief work, depriving people of humanitarian aid and aggravating humanitarian problems. Read full overview.

Facts and Figures

In 2011, the ICRC

  • took preventive mine action in 27 countries or contexts;
  • destroyed or made safe over 3,500 items of ordnance in Libya (and has destroyed a further 3000 so far in 2012);
  • destroyed some 1,600 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in 26 communities in southern Iraq;
  • carried out 194 safe behaviour and victims’ rights activities with local authorities and communities at risk in Colombia, benefiting a total of 4,483 people;
  • continued to include weapon contamination issues and requirements in its cooperation with National Societies in the fields of economic security, health, protection, staff safety and water and habitat.

More facts and figures 2011

Publications More publications

Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine