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Extensive conflict in Iraq involving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Da’esh, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Kurdish Forces (Peshmerga) and other armed actors has displaced approximately 3.1 million people since 2014 and has significantly contaminated areas with explosive hazards, including IEDs.

The explosive hazard problem is complex, unprecedented and exceeds existing and available response capacities. “Homemade weaponized drones”, booby-traps and booby-trapped vehicles, as well as “IED factories” have been reported. Around Mosul, since operations began in October 2016, a reported 1,682 people have been killed or injured by explosive hazards. During this period, IED incidents also doubled, totalling 192 in February 2017.

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 IDPs and the provision of humanitarian assistance. Explosive hazards in retaken areas impede urgently needed emergency response efforts and prevent civilians from safely seeking assistance.


UNMAS focuses on the addressing the threat of explosive hazards in Iraq through the following activities:

UNMAS uses a “blended approach” to enable survey and clearance in areas retaken from ISIL, combining commercial and NGO (national and international) response capacity as soon as combat operations have concluded.

UNMAS supports a nationally-led and implemented response. Building on existing capacities, UNMAS provides training and mentoring for selected security forces and mine action authorities, with a particular focus on IED threat mitigation. 

UNMAS uses community-based, age and gender-sensitive approaches to provide risk education to IDPs, returnees and host communities threatened by explosive hazards. UNMAS provides national authorities with management training to support a better coordinated and managed risk education sector in Iraq.

UNMAS assists the Government of Iraq to enhance support provided to survivors and victims of explosive hazard accidents. UNMAS will identify how to best support victim assistance programming in the future by analyzing needs and gaps in the current response capacity.


For 2017, UNMAS has received USD 16.3 million (of the required USD 112 million) from Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom to implement its program activities.

Updated: March 2017

Programme of:



  • 199 Non-technical surveys and threat impact assessments of explosive hazards in Fallujah and 104 explosive remnants of war (ERW) and threat impact assessments in Mosul and the vicinity, enabling:
    • Delivery of humanitarian aid by 13 NGOs/Agencies (including IOM, UNHCR and OCHA)
    • Destruction/removal of 610 explosive hazards and improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
    • Destruction/removal of 5,972 kg of homemade explosives
  • ​45 national/regional authority staff trained on how to safely respond to IED and explosive hazard threats, and 152 UN and NGO staff trained to recognize and behave safely in the presence of explosive hazards so they can deliver humanitarian activities safely in a high-risk environment
  • 80,000 people provided risk education and risk awareness training in schools and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps



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