Press Release

Government of Czech Republic to Support Training of Iraqi Police

05 December 2017

Baghdad, 05 December 2017 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes the contribution of 5 million Czech crown (US$232,000) from the Government of the Czech Republic to support the training of Iraqi local police.

The conflict with ISIL in Iraq has resulted in complex and extensive explosive hazard contamination ranging from improvised explosive devices to hand grenades and mortar bombs. Explosive hazards have displaced more than three million people since 2014 and present a significant risk for families returning to their communities, as well as civil servants providing initial response.

The Explosive Hazard First Responder training course aims to develop the knowledge of local police officers on what to do if they find a suspected explosive hazard or if someone in the community makes a report. After the training, they are able to identify, mark and report so that the qualified operators in the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Defense can respond. The training programme establishes the foundation for the management of any incident involving an explosive hazard.

Iraqi local police play a critical role in responding to explosive hazard threats in communities as people return to their homes. There are multiple reports of families returning to find explosive hazards in their houses. The police are at the front line to provide immediate response at the community’s request. To date, UNMAS has trained 168 police officers in Anbar and is working with other partners to strengthen linkages into community policing initiatives.

With the contribution from the Czech Republic, UNMAS is able to conduct additional critical Explosive Hazard First Responder training courses for the local police.

Mr. Jan Vyčítal, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Iraq, stated: “The Czech Republic has been an active supporter of the conflict affected population in Iraq throughout the current conflict both in the humanitarian field and in the stabilization phase, including through our contribution to the training of Iraqi police forces. The current contribution to UNMAS confirms our active approach, while combining our focus on stabilization and capacity building.”

Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Senior Programme Manager, UNMAS Iraq, stated that “The generous contribution from the Czech Republic will further enable UNMAS to support the Iraq Governments efforts to protect civilians from the threats of explosive hazards.”

Pehr Lodhammar

Pehr Lodhammar

Chief Mine Action Programme
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar is the Chief Mine Action Programme in Iraq, managing all international and national staff in the program, in addition to donor relations and resource mobilization. As a key advocate for the mine action sector in Iraq, he is often involved with coordination with the highest levels of the Iraqi government, and represents UNMAS at international venues and conferences. Mr. Lodhammar holds a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, and has more than 31 years of military and humanitarian mine action experience.

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