The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) thanks the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MoI) for its support in providing Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Improvised Explosive Device Defeat (IEDD) and Explosive Hazards First Responder (EHFR) training courses. Co-facilitated by UNMAS, these trainings are part of its overarching strategy of providing capacity enhancement initiatives for the Government of Iraq, to ensure long-term sustainability and self-reliance in the management and disposal of explosive hazards in the country. The joint collaboration with the MoI trainers at the MoI training facility is essential to the success of this initiative.
Supported by the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and Czech Republic, the MoI hosted UNMAS trainers to deliver the first EHFR training course offered to Iraqi female police officers from the liberated areas in Iraq, with the intention of providing additional courses for female police in the near future. In addition to providing much-needed technical and nuanced knowledge in explosive hazards management, such courses offered to female police officers ensure wider outreach to Iraq’s communities, paving the way to more “equal opportunities” for men and women.
UNMAS Iraq recently received a contribution of CZK 5 million (approximately USD 215 thousand) from the Government of Czech Republic to continue the work that has been undertaken throughout 2018 and to further strengthen gender mainstreaming in explosive hazards management activities.
“Czech Republic via its Embassy closely monitor the situation on ground and welcomes achieved results – namely trained trainers and police man and women as first responders to IED detection. Decontamination of the liberated areas is the condition of the IDP´s to return back home,” said Jan Vycital, Ambassador of Czech Republic in Iraq.
The Federal Republic of Germany contributed EUR 4 million (approximately USD 4.5 million) to support capacity enhancement activities in 2019 such as the EOD/IEDD training that was recently conducted at Salman Pak and which comprised novice-level cross-unit male police officers hailing from the Anbar, Kirkuk, and Nineveh governorates. This training enables the participants to revert to their units as highly competent personnel in explosive hazards disposal, applying their newly-acquired skills and advanced equipment to further streamline the process. This contribution will also allow additional EHFR trainings for male and female police officers to be conducted in 2019.
Commenting on the training, the German Ambassador to Iraq, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, said: “This training showcases how international support to stabilisation efforts, including EOD clearance, contributes to building Iraqi capacity and thereby enables the Iraqi government to take greater responsibility for reconstruction efforts. It is a fine example of transition from international support to Iraqi ownership.”
“Capacity enhancement is of significant importance for UNMAS in Iraq, and it is one of the main reasons why we are here. Through our support we further enable the Government of Iraq to clear critical infrastructure and private houses from explosive hazards so that displaced Iraqis can safely return home.” said Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager in Iraq.
Two ceremonies were organized for the 21 male and 20 female police officers who successfully graduated from the training courses. UNMAS would like to thank the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic for their contributions to capacity enhancement initiatives.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS, Senior Programme Manager, Iraq: firstname.lastname@example.org