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  • People return to their houses after clearance is done by UNMAS implementing partner (GCS) RAC team in Barbarosh neighborhood, Sinjar. August 2022. Photo: UNMAS

Press release: Estonia and Slovakia Bring Further Support To Humanitarian Mine Action in Iraq

Baghdad, 9 February 2023 - The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes two additional generous contributions from Estonia and Slovakia. As part of UNMAS Iraq efforts to support the mine action sector, this funding will enhance clearance operations and support life-saving mine action activities in Iraq.

As a result of four decades of war and conflict, Iraq has many layers of explosive ordnance contamination which threatens the lives and safety of Iraqi communities. UNMAS continues to clear explosives and will be able to do more with support from donors. The contribution from Estonia and Slovakia will make it possible for UNMAS to facilitate the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of nearly 1.2 million displaced communities and will allow for the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts to progress.

This support will also enable UNMAS to assist a nationally led mine action response. UNMAS can provides technical support to national authorities to further enhance Iraqi national clearance capacity in line with national and international mine action standards. UNMAS is supporting national capacity enhancement through a partnership model which pairs international mine action NGOs with local NGOs, to build a sustainable mine action response in Iraq, and expand the national mine action capacity.

Remarking on the contribution, the representative of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “Estonia is proud to continue with our contribution to UNMAS to support the Mine Action programmes in Iraq. Mitigating the threats posed by explosive ordnance and managing operations to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war is of great importance.”

“The UN´s collective commitment to sustaining peace is not only about conflict prevention but also about reduction and removal of consequences of conflicts. Therefore, alongside deploying troops to UN peacekeeping operations, we also repeatedly financially support UNMAS Iraq, which has been tasked with managing operations to clear explosive remnants of war. We are really delighted that our contribution will enable displaced Iraqi civilians to return to safe and mine-cleared areas,” stated a representative of the Government of Slovakia.

 “The additional funding from Slovakia and Estonia will allow UNMAS to continue the current partnership model until such time that the national partners can operate fully autonomously and independently”, said Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Chief Mine Action Programme, UNMAS Iraq.


For further information, please contact: 

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


[Read it in Arabic here]