A MAG Iraq deminer stops work to allow schoolchildren to pass near a minefield in the north of the country. MAG has cleared more than 64 million square metres of land in Iraq since 2003. [Photo: Sean Sutton / MAG]
Millions of landmines and unexploded bombs threaten lives and limbs, and impede economic recovery, in Iraq – the legacy of more than 30 years of conflict.
The exact number is unknown, but according to Government estimates more than 1,730 km2 of land in Iraq is contaminated, affecting more than 1.6 million people in approximately 4,000 communities across the country. The UN estimates that nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmine.
The contamination has multiple sources: the Iraq–Iran war of the 1980s, internal conflicts between rival religious and political parties, the Gulf War in 1991 and the 2003 invasion by allied forces.
Since 2003, MAG has cleared over 64 million square metres of land in Iraq, destroying more than 70,000 landmines and 1.5 million pieces of unexploded ordnance in the process.
We have also given nearly 10,000 Risk Education sessions, spreading life-saving safety messages to men, women and children at risk from these deadly items.
New roads, schools, hospitals and entire villages have been built on land cleared by MAG, while thousands of farmers have been able to work in safety on former minefields. MAG also contributes to integrated attempts to improve infrastructure and development in Iraq, clearing land to make way for plans to build airports, hotels and for improved telecommunications.
MAG currently has three sectors of operation, in the Dohuk, Erbil and Chamchamal areas of northern Iraq.
Thanks to all the public, institutional and government donors to MAG's operations in Iraq, including:
• Act for Peace
• Australian Aid
• German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Irish Aid
• Isle of Man Overseas Aid Committee
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
• NVESD HD R and D Program
• Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
• Stichting Vluchteling
• US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement
Without this support, MAG's lifesaving work in the country could not be carried out