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Iraq

  عربي  (Arabic)

IMPACT

 

From January to March 2024:

 
  • Removed 44 explosive remnants of war (ERW), one improvised explosive device (IED), one IED main charge, and 476 victim-operated improvised explosive devices (VOIED) in Ninewa governorate. Conducted three clearance tasks enabling rehabilitation and resumption of livelihood activities, and humanitarian actors to move forward with urgent lifesaving interventions.

 

  • Trained 50 police officers, including nine women, to identify, mark and report explosive ordnance (EO).

 

  • Provided two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) / Drone training courses, one Global Positioning System (GPS) training, and one Awareness course on the dangers of explosives (UXO - Mines - IED’s).

 

  • Delivered Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) to 6,027 people in affected communities.

 

  • Instructed nine humanitarian workers to recognize  EO while working in high-risk environments.

ABOUT

 

Iraq is one of the most EO-contaminated countries in the world. It has approximately 2,733 square kilometers of recorded contaminated areas, including extensive and complex contamination in areas retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

 

According to existing national mine action data, some 26 per cent of EO contamination is found in agricultural areas - preventing productive use of the land for livelihood activities; another 20 per cent is found in infrastructure - hampering reconstruction efforts and access to infrastructure for services and economic opportunities; an additional 19 per cent is found in roads, challenging connectivity in the country, and 22 per cent of the contamination blocks access to water resources.

 

Continued clearance of residential and agricultural areas is key for development and supports broader humanitarian objectives.

 

UNMAS Iraq takes a programmatic approach to the assistance provided to the Government of Iraq (GoI) in leading and coordinating a national mine action response supported by multi-donor contributions. The Country Programme Strategy 2023-2025 provides technical and advisory support to the Iraqi national authorities to enable them to lead, manage and implement the national mine action response. In parallel, UNMAS continues to enhance the capacity of national operators to effectively carry out survey, clearance and explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) to maintain a consistent mine action response in the country. 

 
 

ACTIVITIES

 

UNMAS Iraq supports the development of a sustainable, well-coordinated national mine action sector that reduces the threat from explosive ordnance on civilians through three pillars of work: 

 

Technical Support to the Government of Iraq (GoI)

The GoI coordinates, manages, and allocates national financial resources to an efficient, well-coordinated, and well-prioritized mine action sector. UNMAS Iraq provides technical support that enables the national mine action authorities to effectively lead and coordinate mine action in Iraq. This support is intended to help build streamlined sustainable processes for improved coordination mechanisms across all relevant GoI institutions. This includes a focus on technical assistance for capacity development, technical enhancement, governance, and effective systems and processes for GoI entities to deliver a coordinated mine action response effectively. UNMAS Iraq advocates for sustainable government funding to humanitarian mine action activities through the National Mine Action Authorities to reduce the risks of IEDs, landmines, cluster munitions, and other ERW and to comply with disarmament treaties and instruments to which Iraq is a signatory. 

 

Capacity enhancement of national mine action organizations

National NGOs implement mine action priority tasks effectively and efficiently with funds from the GoI and donors. Since 2020, UNMAS Iraq has supported capacity building of national operators through the “Partnership model". International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are partnered with national non-governmental organizations (NNGOs) to provide training and the transfer of skills and experience for three years. The Partnership model was completed at the end of 2023 with two NNGOs fully accredited to implement EO clearance operations. From 2024 onwards, UNMAS Iraq will award grants to the NNGOs. Through the current grants, the NNGOs will continue to operate independently and can build on the experience and knowledge derived from the partnership model. The direct grants contribute to the sustainable capacity of the NNGOs to respond to the humanitarian mine action needs in the country. 

 

Explosive Hazard Management

Land is released for safe return of displaced persons and development activities and people are able to mitigate the risks from EO. UNMAS Iraq conducts survey and clearance operations, as well as EORE activities in the most devastated areas of Iraq. Clearance involves the identification, neutralization, and removal of EO from buildings, critical infrastructure, and the immediate surroundings, as well as open/rural areas with minefield-like defensive lines of IEDs. The teams provide EORE to the affected communities to raise awareness and promote safe behavior when confronted with explosive ordnance. 

 

FUNDING

 

UNMAS in Iraq is solely funded through contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund. UNMAS Iraq is currently receiving contributions from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Sweden. For the year 2024 and 2025, UNMAS Iraq seeks USD 8 million to fully implement the planned activities. UNMAS Iraq seeks to raise additional funds to respond to the needs for technical support, EORE and survey and clearance, to better support the humanitarian response.

 

Data as of April 2024