UN presses ahead with school rehabilitation and mine clearance in Iraq
The United Nations is pressing ahead with its efforts both to rehabilitate schools throughout Iraq and to avoid death and injury from mines and other abandoned ordnance, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) reported today.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is currently carrying out comprehensive rehabilitation of 84 schools and water and sanitation facilities in 20 schools while the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has delivered the first set of textbooks and reference books, obtained under the Qatar Fund for Higher Education, for different university libraries.
Meanwhile, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has contracted the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) to provide technical advice to the Iraqi National Mine Action Authority (NMAA). UNDP trained seven technical advisers last month in Amman, Jordan, before their deployment to Iraq.
UNICEF also conducted a two-day workshop with its counterparts and NMAA, developing a draft action plan for mine risk education. The UN has also been active in supporting clearance activities realized by Minetech International (MTI) and Danish Demining Group (DDG) in Basrah.
The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has proposed a project for continuing and expanding MTI mine/unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance operations in southern Iraq.
Under the umbrella of UNAMI, some 23 UN agencies, funds and programmes are working together through 11 clusters to coordinate international aid to Iraq and to offer assistance in the rebuilding of the country.
The clusters, whose activities are funded by the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), are: education and culture; health; water and sanitation; infrastructure and housing; agriculture, water resources, and environment; food security; mine action; refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs); governance and civil society; poverty reduction and human development; and electoral support.