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Government of Denmark Provides Additional Contribution to UNMAS Iraq



The Government of Denmark Provides Additional Contribution to UNMAS in Support of the Mine Action Sector in Iraq

Baghdad, 28 December 2023 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of DKK 22,000,000 (approximately US$ 3,168,659) from the Government of Denmark, which will contribute to support the Government of Iraq (GoI) to protect civilians from the threat of explosive ordnance (EO) and will enable humanitarian, socio-economic, and reconstruction efforts. Since 2015, the Government of Denmark has contributed over US$ 35,000,000 to the UNMAS Iraq programme.

Iraq is one of the most EO-contaminated countries in the world. The national mine action authorities estimate that there are more than 2,800 square kilometers of  EO contamination, including conventional landmines and victim-operated improvised explosive devices, cluster munitions, and other types of explosive remnants of war in Iraq. EO threatens public safety, hinders the safe return of displaced communities, and prevents access to infrastructure and livelihood activities.

The generous contribution from the Government of Denmark will assist UNMAS Iraq in continuing to support national mine action operators. After the three-year implementation of the “partnership model”, UNMAS Iraq will proceed to the next step of localization of mine action responses - introducing the “direct grant model” in 2024, which will further strenghthen national  mine action capacity and ownership. Through this model National Non-Governmental Organisations will become fully autonomous and with the knowledge and best practices gained through the partnership model, implement  survey and clearance operations, as well as explosive ordnance risk education activities in the most devastated and vulnerable locations in Iraq. 

Furthermore, through this contribution, UNMAS Iraq will continue to support GoI national authorities in strengthening the federal response to EO contamination. UNMAS Iraq will deliver technical and advisory support for several government entities, which will include training, workshops as well as gender mainstreaming initiatives aiming to increase the Iraqi national clearance capacity in line with national and international mine action standards.

Mr. Christian Thorning, the Danish Ambassador to Iraq, on announcing the new contribution explained:

“I am very pleased that Denmark once again has contributed to the important work of UNMAS. In Iraq, UNMAS plays a critical role to protect civilians from the threat of explosive ordnance and to ensure the safe return of displaced communities. I am happy to see that the Danish contribution will allow for new initiatives in 2024 strengthening national mine action capacity and ownership. For Denmark, contributing to peace and stability in Iraq remains a high priority.

“UNMAS Iraq greatly appreciate the additional generous contribution from the Government of Denmark. This new contribution will allow us to continue to support the Iraqi Government and national operators to prevent indiscriminate casualties and reduce the profound impact from explosive ordnance amongst the most vulnerable populations. In furtherance, it will allow UNMAS to facilitate a safe environment for Iraqis to live their lives dignified, unimpeded, and without fear of explosive hazards,” said Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Chief Mine Action Programme.


Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Chief Mine Action Programme, Iraq lodhammar@un.org