Baghdad | UNMAS
The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is training Iraqi police officers to deliver risk education to local communities and provide immediate response to suspected or identified explosive hazards in their community. Funded by the people of Japan, the training is linked to community policing initiatives supported by the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office for Project Services, the United Kingdom and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH abd.
The explosive hazard challenge in Iraq is extensive due to the significant extent of contamination in retaken areas such as Mosul and Fallujah. Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Senior Programme Manager at UNMAS, attended the graduation ceremony where he spoke about the role that Iraqi police will play in responding to explosive hazard threats.
"The Iraqi police will play a critical role in responding to explosive hazard threats in Iraq and in saving lives and allowing the local population to return to their homes", said Mr. Lodhammar. "The police will often be on the front line to provide immediate response if an explosive hazard is suspected or identified within a community and now have the vital skills to manage such critical incidents.”
UNMAS activities currently include emergency response, capacity development, risk education and victim assistance. The goal of these activities is that once the immediate emergency is over, capable, enabled and motivated national capacities will be in a place to take over the longer-term response. While UNMAS celebrates the achievements of these police graduates, we must still remember that there is much work to be done to ensure that Iraq is safe for all citizens.
Learn more about UNMAS in Iraq here: http://www.mineaction.org/programmes/iraq