The U.S. Embassy has hosted a roundtable discussion with Iraqi and international partner Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on humanitarian demining activities in Iraq.
Iraq is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, and the U.S. Government has provided more than $250 million to support demining projects in Iraq since 2003. Participants noted significant progress in recent years.
Thousands of square kilometers of land have been cleared of mines and approved for use by local communities, data about known minefields has been improved and consolidated, victims have been assisted with rehabilitation and training, and many Iraqis have been educated about the risks of mines, especially for children.
The U.S. Embassy is dedicated to reducing the risks of mines in Iraq. Working with our local partners, we are helping to protect victims of conflict through innovative Risk Education and Victims Assistance projects, restore access to land and infrastructure by introducing mechanical technologies and mine detection dogs, and support Iraqi authorities by providing subject matter experts to conduct an assessment of Iraq’s capabilities in lessening the impact of mines on communities.
This assistance is essential to protect Iraqi communities, as well as to enable economic development in areas where agricultural land is affected by mines. Demining is an important aspect of both security and economic cooperation outlined in the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. The U.S. Embassy remains committed to working with Iraqi authorities and the NGO community to decrease the risk posed by landmines throughout Iraq.
The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to clear unexploded ordinance (UXO) and landmines. Since 1993, the United States has provided more than $2 billion toward landmine and UXO clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) in over 80 countries. Working together with our local counterparts and partners, we know that a mine-free future is possible for all Iraqi communities.
(Source: Embassy of the United States)