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Conventional Weapons Destruction For A Safer Iraq


Two Iraqi boys dig in a hole created earlier by a landmine outside the town of Fallujah, 65 kilometers west of Baghdad, Iraq. (FILE)

The U.S. has invested more than $235 million in Iraq since 2003 toward the clearance and safe disposal of landmines, unexploded ordnance, and excess conventional weapons and munitions.

The United States has invested more than $235 million in Iraq since 2003 toward the clearance and safe disposal of landmines, unexploded ordnance, and excess conventional weapons and munitions.


This assistance, directed through several Iraqi and international nongovernmental organizations, has made significant progress toward protecting communities from potential risks, restoring access to land and infrastructure, and developing Iraqi capacity to manage weapons abatement programs independently over the long term.

Explosive remnants of war, such as unexploded artillery shells, mortars, and other munitions still present daily hazards to Iraqi citizens across the country. Information Management and Mine Action Programs (iMMAP) conducted two Landmine Impact Surveys in 2006 and 2011 that estimated 1,513 million square meters (585 square miles) of land in Iraq contain as many as 20 million landmines and millions more pieces of unexploded ordnance.

As many as 1,430 Iraqi cities, towns and villages remain at risk from explosive hazards. Landmines and unexploded ordnance contaminate significant acreage of agricultural land, making clearance an economic necessity for communities to regain their livelihoods as well as a security priority for Iraq’s future. Additional surveys will determine the full extent of the challenge facing Iraq in the years to come.

U.S. Government FY 2013 Conventional Weapons Destruction funding allocated for Iraq totals $23.75 million. The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is using that funding to continue humanitarian mine action programs that during 2012 alone removed landmines and unexploded ordnance from more than 687 million square meters (265 square miles) of land across Iraq, destroyed more than 135,430 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and abandoned or otherwise at-risk munitions and provided outreach education to more than 40,000 Iraqi men, women and children about potential dangers from landmines and unexploded ordnance in their communities. These efforts will continue in FY 2014.

The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance. Since 1993, the United States has contributed more than $2.1 billion to more than 90 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war.

The United States is proud of the programs and partnerships that enable countless Iraqi citizens to live and work in their communities more safely.
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