Mine Risk Education, or MRE, refers to educational activities aimed at reducing the risk of injury from mines and unexploded ordnance by raising awareness and promoting behavioral change through public-information campaigns, education and training, and liaison with communities.
Extensive conflict in Iraq involving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or “Da’esh”, Iraqi Federal Security Forces (ISF), Iraqi Kurdish forces (Peshmerga), and other armed actors has resulted in the displacement of approximately 3.1 million people since 2014 and a significant increase in contamination from explosive remnants of war (ERW) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas retaken from ISIL occupation.
The scale and complexity of the explosive hazard problem is substantial, unprecedented and exceeds existing and available response capacities. Home-made unmanned aerial vehicles, booby-trapped vehicles as well as IED “factories” have been reported. In areas close to Mosul, the number of daily explosive hazard incidents has sharply increased to 9 items per day in January 2017. This represents a 74% increase compared with the last quarter of 2016.
The Government of Iraq, the UN and other national and international stakeholders have prioritized the stabilization of retaken areas, the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the provision of humanitarian assistance. The presence of explosive hazards in retaken areas is impeding emergency response efforts and preventing civilians from safely seeking assistance.