LAND MINE FACTS
It is estimated that more than 110 million active mines are
scattered in 70 countries with an equal number stockpiled around the world
waiting to be planted.
Every month over 2,000 people are killed or maimed by mine
explosions. Most of the casualties are civilians who are killed or injured
after hostilities have ended.
For every mine cleared, 20 are laid. In 1994, approximately
100,000 were removed, while an additional 2 million were planted.
Anti-personnel mines are priced at $3 to $30 each. The cost
to the international community of neutralizing them ranges from $300 to
The cost to remove all 110 million active mines is estimated
at approximately $33 billion. Many experts believe that under current conditions
it would take more than 1,100 years to clear the entire world of mines
provided that no additional mines are planted.
Land mine usage has dramatically increased over the past
20 years with an emphasis on its potential as a weapon to terrorize civilians.
Mines are used to deny access to or usage of farmlands, irrigation channels,
roads, waterways and public utilities.
Land mine victims need blood transfusions twice as often
as people injured by bullets or fragments. The number of units of blood
required to operate on patients with mine injuries is between 2 and 6 times
greater than that needed by other war casualties.
Surgical care and the fitting of an orthopedic appliance
cost about $3,000 per amputee in developing countries. This means a total
expenditure of $750 million for the 250,000 amputees registered worldwide
by the United Nations.
Delivery and distribution of relief assistance for emergency
situations are affected when mines prevent or slow down provision of relief
supplies. This increases the incidents of hunger and starvation among isolated
According to the ICRC medical database, of mine-injured patients
only 24.6% arrive within six hours, 69.4% within 24 hours and and 84% within
72 hours. The remaining 16% travel for more than 3 days.
Manual mine clearance is extremely dangerous currently accidents
occur at a rate of one every 1-2,000 mines destroyed.
Buried land mines can remain active for over 50 years. The
threat they pose thus lingers long after hostilities have ceased. Mines
maim and kill tens of thousands of people each year, most of them women
In addition to inflicting physical and psychological damage
on civilians, land mines disrupt social services, threaten food security
by preventing thousands of hectares of productive land from being farmed,
and hinder the return and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons.