Baghdad, 22 May 2022 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes a new contribution of $ CA 5 million (approximately $ US 4 million) from the Government of Canada to further develop national capacity in Iraq. The Canadian contribution will support the partnership grant model, the core foundation behind UNMAS 2020 nationalization strategy.
The presence of explosive ordnance, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), commonly referred to as Da’esh, continues to endanger the lives of women, men, boys, and girls and hinder the return of displaced communities.
“Families shouldn’t have to return to their homes and rebuild their communities while living in fear of explosive ordnance, especially IEDs meant to target and maim children. Canada is proud to support the work of UNMAS and its partners in rising to this challenge, particularly in building the capacity of Iraqis, in a gender-sensitive manner, to address both their immediate and long-term needs in this area, ”explained Mr . Gregory Galligan, the Canadian Ambassador to Iraq.
In 2020, UNMAS adapted its strategy to ensure optimum and sustainable support to the Government of Iraq, particularly through the focus of its assistance to sustainable national capacity inclusive of national authorities and national operators. As part of this strategy, UNMAS rolled out a partnership model bringing together international mine action organizations with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), paving the way for national ownership and localization of the mine action response in Iraq.
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Chief Mine Action Program in Iraq, described the significance of this support: “Canada is an essential contributor to the UNMAS Iraq program, and is especially supportive of our efforts to nationalize the mine action sector in the country. The continuation of the partnerhsip model will allow us to train and share crucial knowledge, skills and tools necessary for humanitarian clearance. This will not only enhance existing national capacity, but will also support a consistent and sustained mine action response in Iraq. ”
UNMAS consistently advocates for gender mainstreaming and equal opportunity across all its activities and with all its partners. UNMAS encourages the hiring and training of capable women and men and provides critical livelihood opportunities to vulnerable communities.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq, Chief Mine Action Program: email@example.com