The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of EUR 2 million (approximately USD 2.2 million) from the Federal Republic of Germany for the survey and clearance of explosive hazards in support of humanitarian and stabilization initiatives.
The conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq has resulted in complex and extensive explosive hazard contamination and displaced 5.8 million of people since 2014.
Explosive hazards present a significant risk for individuals returning to their communities, as well as those providing the initial response, especially in urban areas where explosive items are buried in rubble and debris from collapsed buildings.
The continued threat of destabilization is significantly heightened through the presence of explosive hazards, particularly in residential and rural communities. This ensures that a continued de facto battle continues, resulting in lives lost with no enemy in sight.
The legacy of ISIL will continue to live on as long as explosive hazards are scattered in houses, neighbourhoods and across communities, posing a threat to citizens set on rebuilding their lives post-ISIL occupation.
With contribution from the Federal Republic of Germany, UNMAS, through its national and international implementing partners, will continue to work to mitigate the threat posed by explosive hazards through explosive hazard management activities. This is not exclusive to clearance only; it also means that risk education is comprehensively integrated to maximize the impact on communities.
This contribution from the Germany will significantly further support UNMAS explosive hazard management activities in Iraq, enabling the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as a secure environment for returnees.
Commenting on the contribution, Mr. Heiko Maas, German Foreign minister, said:
“Without demining, life cannot return. UNMAS’ de-mining and training activities are a crucial contribution to efforts of the Iraqi government and the international community to enable IDPs to return to their homes. We are proud to support them. UNMAS creates corridors for peace. In order to keep these corridor open, Germany remains committed to the stabilization of areas liberated from Daesh.”
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager, said:
“As our largest donor, the Government of Germany has been pivotal to enabling and supporting UNMAS explosive hazard management activities throughout Iraq. In Fallujah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Ramadi, and Sinjar, schools, hospitals, bridges, water treatment plants etc. have been cleared to enable rehabilitation works by the Government of Iraq and other humanitarian actors. In some villages, critical infrastructure has been cleared so that families can resume their livelihoods without fear of encountering explosive hazards.”