The UNMAS Iraq programme focuses on enabling humanitarian and stabilization interventions to support the safe and dignified return of IDPs to areas previously under the control of the ISIL.
This specifically includes the following priority areas:
Priority Areas of Intervention
Provide explosive hazard management (EHM) response in support of humanitarian and stabilization efforts.
Deliver risk education at the community level and national/ regional level.
Support government entities with managing, regulating, and coordinating an explosive hazard management response through technical support and training.
Due to the nature of threats posed by explosive hazards, UNMAS teams are among the first responders allowing the humanitarian community and local authorities to intervene quickly and efficiently to help civilians.
The unprecedented nature of explosive hazard contamination, the sheer magnitude of dispersion, in addition to the unorthodox and innovative ways in which they were planted means that all who are in the near vicinity are at grave risk. Sporadic accidents due to IEDs has shed light on the urgent and crucial work that UNMAS, complemented by other mine action organizations and the Government of Iraq (GoI), continue to conduct on a daily basis.
As vital as UNMAS work to create a safe environment for IDPs to return to, is UNMAS efforts in ensuring that returnees are aware and cautious of potentially contaminated sites, suspicious objects, and ways of contacting the government so that such locations can be surveyed and cleared.
The activities undertaken by UNMAS in Iraq in 2019 under the aforementioned three strategic pillars are outlined in this report.
So long as explosive hazards contaminate areas retaken from ISIL, their legacy will continue to plague Iraq and threaten stabilization and rehabilitation efforts.