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UNMAS implementing partners searching and clearing explosive hazards in Mosul’s Old City. Photo: UNMAS

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Extensive conflict in Iraq to retake cities from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Da’esh has displaced more than 5.8 million people since 2014, with associated military campaigns having significantly contaminated areas with explosive hazards including IEDs.

3.7 million people have since returned home and the Government of Iraq, supported by the UN, is working to facilitate the safe, dignified and voluntary return of the remaining 2.1 million people.

The presence of explosive hazards in liberated areas impedes urgently needed humanitarian response efforts and prevents civilians from safely returning home. The explosive hazard problem is complex, extensive, and exceeds the capacity of the existing resources to address it.

The Government, the UN, and other national and international stakeholders have prioritized the clearance of explosive hazards as the essential ‘first step’ before any rehabilitation or reconstruction work can be carried out.


UNMAS addresses the threat posed by explosive hazards in Iraq in through three pillars of work:

A blended approach, combining national and international commercial companies and NGOs, enables survey and clearance response in areas liberated from Da’esh in direct support of the Government of Iraq/UN stabilization plan and humanitarian response. As soon as areas are secured, UNMAS deploys assessment teams, followed by specialized teams including: survey, high-risk search, battle area clearance, mechanical assets, and/or debris management.

UNMAS supports a nationally led and implemented response. Building on existing capacities, UNMAS focus is to provide training and technical advice to the Government of Iraq in various ministries: mine action authorities, Ministry of Interior (police and civil defence), and government operations coordination centres to support the management, regulation and coordination of response to explosive hazards. The “National Strategy and Executive Plan for Mine Action 2017-2021” was launched in December 2017 with support from UNMAS.

Coordinated with the UN Protection Cluster and DMA, risk education is provided to IDPs, returnees and resident communities. Efforts are specifically targeting communities living in, or returning to, liberated areas known or suspected to be contaminated with IEDs and explosive hazards. UNMAS has provided national authorities with management training to improve coordination and management of risk education in Iraq. Risk awareness is provided to humanitarian and stabilization partners.


  • From 1 January to 31 May 2018, 70 surveys of explosive hazards were conducted in Al-Anbar, Salah al-Din and Ninewa Governorates in support of high priority stabilization and humanitarian interventions.
    • Removed 15,700 explosive remnants of war (ERW) and 900 improvised explosive devices (IED) including 610 suicide belts in liberated areas.
    • Conducted 750 clearance tasks enabling UNDP and the Government of Iraq to move forward with the rehabilitation of critical infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, bridges etc. and humanitarian actors to move forward with urgent life-saving interventions.
    • Coordinated and completed 10 joint assessment missions enabling the UN and humanitarian partners to deliver humanitarian aid as soon as liberated areas became accessible.
  • 170 police officers trained in First Response to identify, mark and report explosive hazards and 20 UN security staff trained to safely respond to IED and explosive hazard threats.
  • 1,600 UNDP cash-for-work employees, 800 Governmental staff and 300 UN and NGO staff trained to recognize and behave safely in the presence of explosive hazards while working in high-risk environments such as Mosul.
  • 147,000 people received risk education and risk awareness training in schools, internally displaced person (IDP) camps, and other high priority areas. *All figures are rounded.

*All figures are rounded.


UNMAS Iraq is funded bilaterally through contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action. In 2018, UNMAS has USD 48 million in secured and pledged funds and is seeking an additional USD 216 million to support survey and clearance, risk education and capacity enhancement of Government as well as support the Recovery and Resilience Programme and the Humanitarian Response Plan. To date, UNMAS Iraq has received contributions from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom (UK), and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency / Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (MSB/SIDA) and is in negotiations to receive additional funding from France, Italy, Sweden, New Zealand, UK/Department for International Development (DFID) and UNESCO.

Updated: May 2018

Programme of:



UN Iraq Website

2017 Snapshot

Faces of Mine Action [EN] [AR]

UNMAS in Iraq [EN] [AR


June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017





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