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Extensive conflict in Iraq to retake cities from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Da’esh has displaced approximately 3.1 million people since 2014 and significantly contaminated areas with explosive hazards (EH) including improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The EH problem is complex, substantial, and exceeds existing and available response capacities. Several suspected ‘bomb factories’ have been located.

Across Iraq, over 255 explosive incidents were reported in conflict areas as well as retaken areas during the month of September.

The Government of Iraq, the UN and other national and international stakeholders have prioritized the stabilization and early recovery of retaken areas, the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the provision of humanitarian assistance. EH in retaken areas impede urgently needed emergency response efforts and prevent civilians from safely returning home.


UNMAS focuses on the addressing the threat of explosive hazards in Iraq with the following 3 components:

A blended approach, combining national and international commercial companies and NGOs enables emergency survey and clearance response in areas retaken from Da’esh in direct support of the Government of Iraq/UN stabilization plan and humanitarian response. As soon as areas have been declared liberated, UNMAS will first deploy risk assessment teams, followed by specialised survey, high risk search, and clearance teams.

UNMAS supports a nationally-led and implemented response. Building on existing capacities, UNMAS’ focus is to provide training and technical advice at three levels: national mine action authority, Ministry of Interior (police and civil defence) and government operations coordination centres to support the management, regulation and coordination of response to explosive hazards. This work is building on existing capacities to enhance sustainable national capacity for explosive hazard management.

Coordinated with the UN Protection Cluster, IKMAA and DMA risk education is provided to IDPs, returnees and resident communities. Efforts are focused on specifically targeting communities living in, or returning to, retaken areas known or suspected to be contaminated with IEDs and EH. Training has also been provided to IDP call centres, the first port of call for people retuning home. UNMAS has also provided national authorities with management training for a better coordinated and managed risk education sector in Iraq. Risk awareness is provided to humanitarian and stabilization stakeholders providing assistance, including contractors involved in cleaning up destroyed infrastructure.


For 2017 and 2018, UNMAS has received USD 26.3 million (of the required USD 250 million) from Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom to implement its program activities. UNMAS anticipates additional funding from Germany and Czech Republic and negotiations are underway for in-kind contributions from Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) / Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Updated: October 2017

Programme of:



  • 139 assessments of explosive hazards (EH) conducted in Al-Anbar and Ninewa completed in support of high priority stabilization and humanitarian interventions.
    • Provide a response to locate and remove 8,370 explosive hazards (EH) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in retaken areas since August 2016.
    • Enable UNDP and the Government of Iraq to move forward with the rehabilitation of 499 priority infrastructure sites.
    • Coordinate with other entities to complete 103 assessment missions in support of UN and humanitarian partner access enabling the delivery of humanitarian aid by NGO/UN as soon as newly liberated areas become accessible.
  • A total of 135 police officers trained in First Response, as well as 71 police and mine action officials from Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) and Directorate of Mine Action (DMA) officials trained on how to safely respond to IED and EH threats; 496 UN and NGO staff trained to recognize and behave safely in the presence of EH so they can deliver humanitarian activities safely in high-risk environments.
  • 337,955 people given risk education and risk awareness training in schools and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and other high priority areas



UNAMI Website


October 2017

September 2017






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