Press Release

New Zealand Contribution Enables UNMAS Iraq to Continue Supporting the Government and the National Mine Action Operators

26 December 2022

Baghdad, 26 December 2022 The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes a renewed contribution of NZD 2,490,000 (approximately USD 1,622,000) from the Government of New Zealand, increasing the total contribution from New Zealand to NZD 5,740,000 million (approximately USD 3,084,000) since 2018.

The threat from explosive ordnance contamination across Iraq, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as legacy mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) from previous conflict over the past four decades, continues to endanger the lives of Iraqi people. Explosive ordnance also hinders the safe return of displaced communities and prevents productive use of land for housing and livelihood activities.

The additional funding from the Government of New Zealand will further reinforce UNMAS Iraq’s advisory and technical support to the national mine action authorities, namely the Directorate for Mine Action and the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency. Through continued technical support, the ability of the national authorities to autonomously lead, manage and implement mine action responses in Iraq will expand. In addition, the funding will support Iraqi national NGOs through the UNMAS partnership grant model where international NGOs transfer knowledge and experience to national operators.

On the occasion of renewing the contribution, Mr. Sam O’Connor, Charge d'Affaires a.i., New Zealand Embassy to Iraq (Resident in Abu Dhabi) stated, "New Zealand is pleased to continue supporting UNMAS' efforts to help Iraq rid itself of unexploded mines and other ordnance, and reduce the injuries and deaths that they cause. It is very encouraging to hear that Iraqi organisations and authorities are increasingly leading this work, and and that UNMAS is on track to strengthen the national response to explosive ordnance."

"The generous three-year contribution from the Government of New Zealand, will enable UNMAS Iraq to continue the necessary support to the Government of Iraq and national operators. With continued assistance from New Zealand, UNMAS will continue to strengthen the national response to protect civilians from the legacy of explosive ordnance and will by extension enable humanitarian, stabilization and reconstruction efforts to go forward unhindered by the explosive ordnance menace”, said Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Chief Mine Action Programme, UNMAS Iraq.

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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