UNMAS in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of DKK 19.5 million (approximately USD 3 million) from the Government of Denmark to mitigate the threat posed by explosive hazards and enable stabilization efforts in liberated areas of Iraq. The support was announced today by visiting Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Anders Samuelsen.
“We are painfully aware that the return of internally displaced persons to some kind of normal life is not possible as long as explosive hazards threaten their life and safety. That is why UNMAS’ work remains so critical”, the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs said. [He appreciated the close cooperation between the Directorate of Mine Action (DMA) under the Ministry of Health and Environment and UNMAS.]
The presence of explosive hazards, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas liberated from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will continue to impede security and stability efforts if not appropriately addressed. UNMAS Iraq is working closely with the United Nations system and the Government of Iraq to enable humanitarian and stabilization efforts.
This additional contribution from the Government of Denmark brings the total Danish support for UNMAS’ work in Iraq to USD 14 million. UNMAS’ explosive hazard management activities create conditions for sustainable return of displaced people. In addition, it contributes to improving coordination, engagement and capacity enhancement of relevant authorities, threat impact assessments as well as clearance and risk education initiatives. This reduces the risk of explosive hazards in direct support of humanitarian and stabilization planning and delivery, while at the same time increase national capacities to manage the overall threat of newly identified explosive hazards.
“1.8 million persons are still displaced and explosive hazards is one of the main reasons and concerns cited by internally displaced persons for not going home” said Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager. “Denmark is a crucial partner for supporting explosive hazard management activities and enabling the safe, orderly and dignified return of displaced communities.”
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Programme, Senior Programme Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Pirouz Poulsen, Snr. Stabilisation Advisor, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs email@example.com