Booby-traps are a major impediment preventing the safe return of displaced families to Ramadi

Baghdad/Erbil, 22 February 2016– The United Nations Development Programme, which manages the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS), is deeply worried about the safety of displaced families who want to return to Ramadi.

“We are saddened by reports that eight people have been killed in the last two weeks while either surveying their homes or attempting to disable devices in Ramadi, and we offer our deep condolences to the families of the victims. Ensuring the safety and dignity of people who want to return home is a top priority,” said Ms. Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

“People who have been displaced want to return home as quickly as possible. Making sure they can do so safely is everyone’s responsibility. Booby-traps and IEDs have to be cleared first. This is dangerous and complicated work that requires the highest levels of professional training,” stated Ms. Grande.

Through its Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization, UNDP is ready to support the Government’s plan to stabilize Ramadi as soon as the National Operations Centre confirms that the area has been cleared of IEDs and land mines. “Under the leadership of the Governor of Anbar, a smart plan for stabilizing liberated Ramadi has been developed and is being implemented. Civilian safety is at the centre of this plan,” said Ms. Grande.

FFIS works in areas newly liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Based on priorities identified by local authorities, FFIS helps to quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, promotes civil engagement and community reconciliation and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

Ground-breaking stabilization work has already been done in Tikrit, where FFIS has helped to kick-start the local economy, open neighbourhoods for returning families and rebuild civil and public assets. FFIS is also working in other liberated areas in Ninewah, Diyala and Salah al-Din Governorates and is procuring and pre-positioning equipment to move in immediately once Ramadi is declared clear and safe.