Press Release

The Government of Sweden extends its support to explosive hazards management and national mine action capability enhancement activities in Iraq

03 July 2024

Baghdad, 2 Juy 2024: The Government of Sweden has recently contributed an additional 10 million Swedish Krona (SEK) (USD 952,560.54) to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq in support of humanitarian mine action initiatives, to reduce the threat from explosive ordnance (EO) contamination and to protect Iraq's most vulnerable communities. Since 2018, the Government of Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), has contributed SEK 145 million (approximately USD 13.7 million) to protect explosive ordnance affected communities, and support humanitarian and stabilization efforts in Iraq. 

Iraq is one of the most EO contaminated countries in the world. According to data from the national mine action authorities, more than 2,700 square kilometers are contaminated with landmines, cluster munitions, improvised explosive devices, and other types of explosive remnants of war. Explosive ordnance poses a concern to public safety and restricts access to livelihood opportunities and infrastructure.

UNMAS Iraq works in close coordination with the Government of Iraq mine action authorities to alleviate the impact of explosive ordnance and enable access to productive land. Furthermore, UNMAS Iraq contributes to building sustainable national capacity to implement survey and clearance operations. The additional funding, will allow UNMAS to implement survey and clearance of explosive hazards left from the war with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and deliver explosive ordnance risk education to children and vulnerable communities in Ninewa Governorate. Operations are led by Iraqi mine action teams trained during the last three years to conduct mine action activities independently. 

The demining work in Iraq continues to be a priority for improving safety and development. The efforts of UNMAS continue to support the return of displaced people to their homes, and at the same time increases the awareness of the risks and danger of explosive ordnance” says Ms. Petra Smitmanis Dry, Head of the Iraq Unit at Sida. 

UNMAS Iraq would like to thank the Government of Sweden for its consistent and longstanding support to mine action in Iraq. With this additional funding, the endeavors to protect Iraqis from unexploded ordnance will continue, allowing for safe and dignified returns and safe access to agricultural areas. Furthermore, UNMAS will continue to support Iraqi mine action stakeholders to ensure, and promote a sustainable and localized mine action response” stated Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Chief Mine Action Programme.

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.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Mine Action Service

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