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From 1 January to 31 December 2020:

  • Removed 78 explosive remnants of war (ERW), 688 improvised explosive devices (IED) in retaken areas. Conducted 12 clearance tasks enabling rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, resumption of livelihood activities, and humanitarian actors to move forward with urgent lifesaving interventions.


  • 16 police officers, including 8 women trained in First Response to identify, mark and report explosive ordnance, 198 UN security personnel, including 64 women trained in Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE), 24 police officers trained in EOD, and 95 government officials including 14 women trained in humanitarian mine action management. 348 cash-for-work employees and 607 governmental personnel trained to recognize and behave safely in the presence of explosive ordnance while working in high-risk environments such as Mosul.


  • 20,508 people received explosive ordnance risk education and risk awareness training in schools, internally displaced person (IDP) camps, and other high priority areas.



UNMAS Iraq Programme Report 2020



Iraq is one of the most explosive ordnance-contaminated countries in the world. It has approximately 2.7 billion square meters of recorded contaminated lands, including extensive and complex contamination in areas retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and in the Levant (ISIL).


Mine action plays a pivotal role in enabling stabilization and reconstruction efforts, and humanitarian aid, thereby facilitating the return of IDPs and the resumption of livelihood activities. Over the past four years, UNMAS has surveyed and cleared 1,355 infrastructure sites, including hospitals, bridges, schools, water treatment and power plants contaminated with unprecedented quantities of explosive ordnance including complex IEDs left behind by ISIL to threaten the population and thus destabilize the country.


1.2 million Iraqis remain in displacement. IDP households continue reporting complete or heavy damage to their homes and presence of explosive threats as primary safety reasons for not returning to their areas of origin. Clearance, in particular of urban and residential areas, and explosive ordnance risk education continue to be a pre-requisite to create the conditions for the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of IDP populations to their areas of origin.




UNMAS addresses the threat posed by explosive ordnance in Iraq through three pillars of work:

Technical Support

UNMAS supports a nationally led and implemented mine action response. Building on existing capacities, UNMAS provides technical advice to the Government of Iraq in various ministries: mine action authorities, Ministry of Interior (police and civil defence), and government operations coordination centres to support the management, regulation and coordination of response to explosive ordnance. Furthermore, UNMAS promotes the development of sustainable capacity for national operators towards fully nationalizing humanitarian mine action activities in Iraq.

Explosive Ordnance Risk Education

Coordinated with the Protection Cluster and the national authorities, explosive ordnance risk education is provided to affected populations and humanitarian workers. Efforts are specifically targeting communities living in, or returning to, retaken areas known or suspected to be contaminated with explosive ordnance. UNMAS has provided national authorities with management training to improve coordination and management of risk education in Iraq.

Explosive Hazard Management

A blended approach, combining national and international commercial companies and NGOs, enabling survey and clearance response in areas retaken from ISIL in direct support of Government of Iraq priorities and UN humanitarian and stabilization plans. When requested through the UN system, UNMAS deploys assessment teams, followed by specialized teams including: survey, high-risk search, battle area clearance, mechanical assets, and/or debris management.





UNMAS in Iraq is solely funded bilaterally through contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund. In 2019 and 2020, UNMAS secured approximately USD 45.3 million in funds. To date, UNMAS in Iraq has received contributions from Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand (including in-kind support), the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Sweden (including in-kind support), and the United Kingdom.


UNMAS is making consistent efforts to raise additional funds to respond to the needs for survey and clearance, and explosive ordnance risk education to support the Humanitarian Response, and to provide technical support to government entities.


Data as of March 2021