In August, Iraqi government COVID-19 restrictions on NGOs began to lift and mine action organisations were allowed to start back to work with a 25% capacity. FSD mobilised two full teams in Kudila village, Makhmour District, Nineweh Province; this included refresher technical training, resurvey of sites and safety plans and medical training. It’s great for our teams to be back to work again creating a safer environment and allowing displaced communities to return to their homes.
FSD is also proud to have signed a new contract this month with the United Nations Mine Action Service in Iraq, to deliver a two-year programme developing national mine action capacity. This will see FSD working with local NGO Al-Nabar, providing them with training and mentoring in explosive hazard clearance, management training and implementing a strategy. The objective is that the NGO can operate independently in the near future and allow Iraq to transition from international aid to national capacity. As the project develops, it will enable physical operations to train Al-Nabar in real-time; this will increase the local national capacity to build relations with the local community and also help to build the foundations of societal and economic regeneration in these communities which were so affected by the violence of the last four years.
The combined contributions of institutional funds and of our our kind private donors supports these efforts, meaning that every franc and dollar goes directly towards making another square meter of land safe; removing more explosive hazards from the ground; regenerating agriculture, farming and the local economy and allowing families to move back to their houses and rebuild new lives.
“I was playing outside with some friends when one of them picked up a piece of metal lying on the floor. Suddenly there was an explosion. We all fell to the ground. I felt like I had been hit in the back. ” Sanita, 11 years old.
Like Sanita, many children walk in areas contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance on a daily basis. Since 1997, FSD has worked tirelessly to locate and eliminate these dangerous legacies of war around the world, and to prevent accidents through awareness campaigns. FSD also remediated sites polluted by toxic waste, and supports peace and development in conflict-affected countries.
Together, we can act. Every donation, no matter how small, helps shape a safer future for those who have already suffered so much.