Baghdad, The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of USD 5.7 million from the Federal Republic of Germany for residential area clearance in support of stabilization initiatives and post-conflict returns in country.
The conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq has resulted in complex and extensive explosive ordnance contamination and displaced 5.8 million people since 2014. While the majority have returned, explosive ordnance continues to present a significant risk for individuals returning to their communities.
In Sinjar, the Yazidi population have suffered tremendously throughout the conflict with ISIL. The legacy of ISIL will continue to live on so long as explosive ordnance are scattered in houses, neighborhoods, and across communities, posing a threat to citizens set on rebuilding their lives post conflict.
In response, with the generous contribution from the Federal Republic of Germany, UNMAS is now clearing residential areas in Sinjar, paving the way for a gradual return of displaced Yazidis to their homes.
This contribution adds to a long-standing partnership between UNMAS and Germany to promote mine action in Iraq, advancing peacebuilding, stabilization and development, particularly in areas formally occupied by ISIL.
On the occasion of Germany’s contribution, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Peter Felten, German Embassy Baghdad, said: “Speaking to affected communities, I understood how much it means for them to be able to live their lives without the fear of explosive ordnance. It is obvious that only when the deadly remnants of war are removed can life return to normal. Explosive ordnance contamination is particularly heavy in Sinjar, which is why the people there consider UNMAS residential clearance in that area all the more important. Germany is grateful for the courageous and dedicated work of the demining teams and pleased to support their efforts because we want to contribute to the safe return of communities, including Yazidis, to their homes.”
Commenting on the contribution, Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Chief Mine Action Programme, said: “The support from Germany will significantly enhance UNMAS efforts towards durable solutions. Residential area clearance will support safe returns for the many internally displaced persons that have not yet been able to return home, many who have cited booby-trapped residences as one of the primary reasons curtailing their return.”
Source: United Nations Iraq