Saving lives in northern Iraq

Report
from Mines Advisory Group
Published on 19 Mar 2003
MAG, one of the world's leading humanitarian mine action organisations, has been actively clearing mines and unexploded bombs in northern Iraq every day since 1992. As the threat of war draws closer the UK-based international charity is responding to the needs of people and preparing MAG staff on the ground for war.
For the last three months MAG teams in northern Iraq have been marking off dangerous minefields on routes currently being used by fleeing refugees. Mine awareness teams are also giving mine risk education, distributing 250,000 leaflets and appropriate messages as people cross into Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. As you are reading - this work is saving lives.

Technical teams are ready to assist. They have been trained to safely dispose of modern weaponry, such as cluster-bombs, that may become a threat to civilians.

Lou McGrath, MAG Executive Director: "It's ironic that when there is such a critical and pressing humanitarian need, many organisations have had to withdraw their staff. MAG is still in Iraq working around the clock to deliver appropriate mine action to minimise the treat of landmines and unexploded ordnance."

MAG thanks its donors in the region that have made this work possible: Swedish International Development Agency, Concern, US State Department, Stichting Vluchteling, Trocaire and Cordaid.

MAG will draw on its extensive experience of Iraq and in other conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and Angola. Obviously as the work for us in Iraq intensifies, so does the need for funds. We're appealing to trusts, foundations, institutional donors and corporations to help us to do our work as the threat of war in Iraq draws near."

For further information and use of photos please contact Sean Sutton Tel: 00 44 (0)161 236 4311 Mobile: 00 44 (0)7818 410 476. MAG's Credit Card donor line: 0800 0723 999 (Visa, Switch, Mastercard, CAF accepted), http://www.magclearsmines.org