Humanitarian Disarmament in Iraq
Iraq is considered to be one of the countries in the world with the highest contamination of mines and explosive remnants of war ( ERW ). More than 3 billion square metres of land is expected to be contamination by ERW in Iraq.
The exact amount of contamination in Iraq, however, is still unknown. According to Iraq’s transparency report, the Iraqi military reported use of approximately 20 million antipersonnel mines (AP) . Furthermore, the estimation of number of submunitions used in Iraq is approximately 250 million. This is the result of several conflicts over the past 40 years. The contamination has severely affected Iraq’s infrastructure development and especially the rehabilitation of the oil industry and production, as well as its agriculture. According to the United Nations, around a million children in Iraq are affected by landmines.
The recent conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has caused even more contamination, particularly by improvised explosive devices. Lack of access caused by the threat from explosive devices is regarded as one of the main challenges for delivering aid and for displaced persons to be able to return home. More than 10 million persons are in need of aid in Iraq.
MBT : state party; clearance deadline: 1 February 2018.
CCM : state party; clearance deadline: 1 November 2023.
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) was involved in Humanitarian Disarmament in Northern Iraq from 1995 to 2009. In 2010, NPA established an Advisory and Support Humanitarian Disarmament project in Basra, southern Iraq, with the objective to capacity build the Operation’s and quality assurance and control departments within the Regional Mine Action Centre South (RMACS).
NPA has been working with the Regional Mine Action Centre (RMAC) south to build capacity for coordination, tasking, and data management since 2011.
Currently NPA is conducting Battle Area Clearance ( BAC ), Non-Technical Survey ( NTS ) and Risk Education ( RE ) in the provinces of Missan and Basra. Mapping and clearing cluster munitions is the priority, and NPA hopes to eradicate the cluster munition problem in Missan by 2017.
By the end of 2015, more than 2700 explosive items have been found and destroyed safely, benefitting more than 2300 persons in southern Iraq.
NPA’s operational project is the only humanitarian demining project in Missan Governorate
NPA has released more than 37 million m² (6,914 football fields) of land for safe use in Iraq to date.
NPA is currently planning to use aerial technology for technical surveys.