Thursday, 13 October 2016 18:21

Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment, Japan and UNMAS Celebrate Certification Ceremony for Mine Action Officials

Baghdad, 13 October 2016: The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) held a certification ceremony for thirteen senior officials from the Iraqi Directorate of Mine Action (DMA), the Ministry of Health and Environment, following their completion of an intensive risk education and victim assistance management course funded by the Government of Japan to support humanitarian mine action in Iraq.

The course aimed at enhancing capacities to manage comprehensive risk education and victim assistance programmes across Iraq. Chaired by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Environment, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan, and the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq the event was also well represented by the Government of Iraq, donors and mine action partners. UNMAS would like to thank the participants for their participation and express gratitude for their continued commitment.

The tailor made training course was developed to provide both knowledge and practical skills to plan, and coordinate risk education and victim assistance programming in line with International Mine Action Standards. The course also covered the evaluation of the risk education and victim assistance project proposals and coordination of these activities.

Dr. Jassem Abdul Azziz Hamadi, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Environment stated “I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to the efforts invested in organizing this training programme, and highlight the excellent management of the United Nations Mine Action Service […]I extend my thanks to the Japanese Government for its care-taking and funding of this training course, and we hope for the continuation of this support to humanity as a whole and to the Directorate of Mine Action in particular.”

Mr. Takayoshi Kuromiya, Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy of Japan in Iraq expressed their continuous support to Iraq, saying “I anticipate that this training course will help to mitigate the threat of UXOs, mines and IEDs and improve safety for Iraqis returning to their homes. Japan continues to stand by Iraq and assist the Iraqi Government to overcome the crisis and achieve peace and stability."

Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Political Affairs expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for their contribution and urged the international community to continue to provide important assistance to the Government of Iraq to help de-mine its territory, carry out civilian awareness programmes, and rehabilitate landmine victims.

The Government of Japan has also contributed towards a community based risk education campaign that will shortly commence in IDP camps in Anbar with local and international non-government partners. This programme will help equip Iraqi civilians with life-saving messaging in preparation for their return home and expects to reach over 24,000 people through direct risk awareness session, radio programme and peer to peer learning.

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