UNMAS in Iraq welcomes a contribution of NOK 15M (approximately USD 1.7 M) from the Kingdom of Norway to support explosive hazards management activities in urban liberated areas in Iraq, enabling humanitarian and stabilization efforts.
Norway has been a leader in the international movement to ban landmines since before the adoption of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Oslo in 1997. This year, at the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Norway reaffirmed its commitment to humanitarian mine action and was elected President of the Fourth Review Conference that will take place next November in Oslo. The Fourth Review Conference will develop the new Action Plan for the period of 2019-2024 to guide the efforts of States Parties towards full implementation of the Convention and achieving the ambition of a mine-free world.
“Norway is pleased to support UNMAS’ important work in Iraq. We hope our contribution will enable humanitarian and stabilization interventions in areas liberated from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The safe return of internally displaced people (IDPs) to their areas of origin is crucial. We also hope that UNMAS’ activities will strengthen coordination of efforts to clear landmines and other explosive hazards,” said Tone Allers, Norwegian Ambassador to Iraq.
The contribution from Norway will also allow UNMAS to conduct assessments and surveys, carry out explosive hazards management activities and deliver risk education to IDPs, host communities as well as humanitarians working in urban locations, as needed and integrated with other response activities.
Recently, UNMAS in Iraq had the honour to host the Norwegian Chargé d’affaires a.i., Mr Roar Haugsdal, and First Secretary Ms. Ane Thea Galaasen at various UNMAS sites in Mosul. The delegation received an extensive briefing about ongoing clearance activities conducted at each site, namely Al Shuhudaa Park, Danedan 2 Water Treatment Plant, Al Maedan district and Rafa’i neighborhood in West Mosul. They also attended a risk education session targeting children aged 7 – 10 years old at the Al Sidiq School.
“UNMAS in Iraq eliminates threats along roads, under bridges, from power and water plants, from schools, from recreational parks and more so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes and return to work, to educate their children, to contribute to society, to live a normal life again and to regain hope,” said Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager in Iraq. “This contribution from the Kingdom of Norway to Iraq Programme is thus essential to create a safe environment for people to live in,” added Mr. Lodhammar.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS, Senior Programme Manager, Iraq: email@example.com