The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes the contribution of USD 4.5 million from the Government of Japan to support the UNMAS Iraq emergency response related to on-going humanitarian and stabilization efforts in liberated areas contaminated with explosive hazards. Close to 2.3 million people are still displaced. Schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, electrical power stations and water treatment plants are still contaminated by explosive hazards in liberated areas.
With support from the Government of Japan, UNMAS Iraq is able to further expand explosive hazard clearance operations to remove threats from liberated areas assisting stabilization efforts and humanitarian activities supporting the safe, dignified and voluntary return of displaced people in Iraq. Removing explosive hazards is the first step to commence rehabilitation and reconstruction activities with the Government of Iraq and UN partners, bringing the people of Iraq back to normal life and restoring economy.
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager expressed, “UNMAS Iraq appreciates the Government of Japan’s continuous support to the programme since 2016 reaffirming their financial commitment to explosive hazard mitigation operations.” He added that “Japan’s continuous support sustains our vital operations and allows us to expand explosive hazard activities in Iraq.”
Mr. Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq said, “It is the fourth year in a row since Japan started the assistance for vulnerable Iraqi and Syrian people affected by ISIL through its Supplementary Budget. This assistance shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing the basic needs in the camps and the areas of return in Iraq”.
He added, “The assistance to UNMAS comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq amounting to approximately USD 100 million. Japan is determined to serve displaced and returning people, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development”. In 2019, Japan and Iraq will celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations and friendship.
Japan’s total contributions to UNMAS Iraq for the past three years now total USD 12.8 million. Since the inception of the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action (UNVTF) in 1994, Japan has contributed more than USD 190.5 million to support mine action efforts worldwide.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Programme, Senior Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org