Baghdad, 15 February 2021 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of USD four million from the Federal Republic of Germany for the provision of clearance operations in support of stabilization and reconstruction efforts, and the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes.
The presence of explosive ordnance, particularly improvised explosive devices (IEDs), left behind by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continues to threaten the lives of innocent civilians, as well as the first responders from the local police providing initial response.
The legacy of ISIL will continue to live on and destabilize communities as long as explosive ordnance are scattered in houses, neighbourhoods, farmlands, posing a threat to civilians set on rebuilding their lives post-ISIL occupation.
This contribution from Germany will enable UNMAS to continue providing direct clearance to affected communities in retaken areas. UNMAS is coordinating with the Government of Iraq to prioritize residential area clearance, critical to ensure the safe and dignified return to home and communities.
On the occasion of Germany’s contribution German Ambassador, Dr. Ole Diehl, said: “German continuous support for UNMAS in Iraq contributes to our joint – Iraqi and international - efforts in stabilizing and reconstructing areas liberated from ISIL. Since IEDs continue to endanger the lives of civilians living and working in the liberated areas, clearance of explosive hazards is the precondition for stabilization, safe returns of IDPs and livelihood.”
Commenting on the contribution, Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager, said: “The presence of explosive ordnance will continue to impede the safe and dignified return of displaced communities and the resumption of livelihood activities until cleared. As UNMAS prepares to launch residential area clearance, it brings me great comfort to know that this will ease the fears of many IDPs living in camps, who have cited booby-trapped residences as one of the primary reasons curtailing their return.”
Contact Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager, Baghdad, Iraq firstname.lastname@example.org