Baghdad, 22 May 2022 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes a new contribution of C$5 million (approximately US$4 million) from the Government of Canada to further develop national capacities in Iraq. The Canadian contribution will support the Partnership Grant Model, the foundation of the UNMAS 2020 Nationalization Strategy.
The presence of explosive ordnance, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas recaptured from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), commonly known as Daesh, continues to endanger the lives of women, d men, boys and girls and hamper the return of displaced communities.
“Families should not have to return to their homes and rebuild their communities while living in fear of explosive devices, especially IEDs designed to target and maim children. Canada is proud to support the work of UNMAS and its partners to meet this challenge, in particular by building the capacity of Iraqis, in a gender-sensitive way, to meet both their immediate needs and long term in this area,” explained Mr. Gregory Galligan, Canada’s Ambassador to Iraq.
In 2020, UNMAS adapted its strategy to ensure optimal and sustainable support to the Iraqi government, in particular by focusing its assistance on sustainable national capacities, including national authorities and national operators. As part of this strategy, UNMAS has deployed a partnership model bringing together international mine action organizations and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), paving the way for national ownership and localization of mine action response in Iraq.
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, head of the UNMAS mine action program in Iraq, described the importance of this support: “Canada is a key contributor to the UNMAS program in Iraq and particularly supports our efforts to nationalize the mine action sector in the country. Continuing the partnership model will allow us to train and share crucial knowledge, skills and tools needed for humanitarian demining. This will not only strengthen existing national capabilities, but will also support consistent and sustained mine action in Iraq.
UNMAS constantly advocates for gender mainstreaming and equal opportunities in all its activities and with all its partners. UNMAS encourages the hiring and training of capable women and men and provides essential livelihoods to vulnerable communities.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq, Head of Mine Action Programme: [email protected]