Press Releases & Statements

A New Year's Message from the United Nations

Monday, 30 December 2019 12:36

SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert New Year’s Message

The entire UN family sends its best wishes to all Iraqis for the year 2020.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes a new donation of USD 5.6 million from the Kingdom of the Netherlands for 2019 and 2020 to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and Syrian refugees in Iraq.

Baghdad, Iraq; 19 December 2019 – “We had to run quickly: they were coming in at us. We could hear them from far. My whole life crumbled that same moment. I froze but I could hear my sister screaming: “move or they will kill you, or worse take you,” said Minar from Qamishli, in Syria, recollecting the moment she and her family had to flee their home in Syria and seek refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Thursday, December 19, 2019 Baghdad — Iraq, compared to neighbouring countries in the Middle East like Jordan and Lebanon, hosts the lowest number of immigrants relevant to the population. However, the country’s foreign population increased 338 per cent between 1990 and 2017, due largely to the influx of refugees from Syria.

Baghdad, Iraq; 18 December 2019 – UNFPA renews its partnership with the European Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II) with a multi-year grant of a total of DKK 22,056,446, equivalent of US$ 3.36 million to the Fund’s on-going interventions to mitigate and respond to gender-based violence in Iraq.

Baghdad, 18 December 2019 - As the constitutional timeline for the nomination of the Prime Minister-designate expires tomorrow, UNAMI urges political leaders to reach consensus on the nomination of a candidate who meets the expectations and aspirations of the Iraqi people.

18 December 2019 On this World Arabic Language Day, we celebrate a powerful symbol of the identity of more than 400 million people around the world. We also celebrate a brilliant scientific and cultural heritage transmitted and forged in the Arabic language – the language of scholars such as Avicenna or Albucasis, the language of scientific and technological innovation par excellence.

Global Refugee Forum, 16–18 December in Geneva

GENEVA 16 December 2019 – A three-day global gathering aimed at transforming the way the world responds to refugee situations starts tomorrow in Geneva, Switzerland.

Baghdad, 16 December 2019 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of EUR 3 million (approximately USD 3.5 million) from The Netherlands to mitigate the threat posed by explosive hazards and enable the return of displaced communities to their areas of origin.
This contribution will mainly focus on the Sinjar district where one of the major problems post-liberation remains the presence of explosive hazards. Faced with military operations to reclaim the Sinjar territory in 2014, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) deliberately booby-trapped private residences, ensuring that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to haunt the city long after they had left.
These dangerous items are everywhere. Their presence threatens lives and impedes the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs). As of 31 October 2019, approximately 25,400 IDPs from Sinjar district are still estimated to remain displaced, with about 11,400 households having returned (International Organization for Migration; Displacement Tracking Matrix).
These remnants of war are also a significant obstacle to all rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. No humanitarian projects can begin if critical infrastructure such as hospitals, power plants, schools, bridges, and roads are littered with IEDs - often barely visible to the untrained eye.
In addition to explosive hazard management activities, risk education will be delivered to affected communities from the area where clearance operations are taking place, either on site or in the nearby IDP camps. The Netherlands will also support a nine-month risk education campaign that will be implemented throughout 2020 and will be measuring the long-term effect and behaviour change following the delivery of life-saving messages through different channels and targeting specific audiences.
Last week, representatives from the Dutch Embassy in Baghdad were able to see first-hand explosive hazard management and risk education activities conducted by UNMAS implementing partner in Ramadi, Al-Anbar Governorate. Commenting on the visit, Mr. Tsjeard Hoekstra, Chargé d’Affaires, underlined the essential importance of mitigating the risks posed by explosive hazards left behind by Da’esh during a dark period in the recent history of Iraq. “The work of UNMAS and its partners is crucial in the light of the safe return of those that have been displaced during the conflict, and enabling affected communities to rebuild their lives. The liberated areas, such as Anbar and Sinjar, need our continued support towards stabilization and recovery, and the Netherlands is proud to strengthen its partnership with UNMAS in this regard.”
“We eliminate the explosive threat along roads, under bridges, from power and water plants, from schools, from critical infrastructure, so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes, begin again to work, to educate their children, to contribute to society, to live a normal life. This would not be possible without the support from our donors. We are utmost grateful for the adiitional contribution from the Dutch Government,” added Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager.
Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Programme, Senior Programme Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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