Explosive Hazards & Rubble: Rebuilding Life After War

Once Mosul was finally liberated from ISIL control in mid-2016, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) and the Government of Iraq immediately began working together to enable the safe return of displaced Iraqis to the city.

The fighting caused extensive and devastating damage to Mosul’s buildings and infrastructure, which displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians. By the time the fighting stopped, the city was littered with explosive hazards and rubble to be cleared.

UNMAS and their partners on the ground deployed risk assessment teams across the city, followed by specialized teams to find and clear explosive materials.

UNMAS has cleared in the region of 35,000 explosive hazards from Mosul, including conventional ammunition, IEDs, air-dropped munitions and stockpiles of abandoned ISIL-manufactured munitions. With such a large variety of deadly items, the clearance work has been complex and time-consuming.

With an estimated 10 million tons of rubble around Mosul (as much as three times the Great Pyramid), UNDP then began the process of clearing it. A cash-for-work programme was established, providing temporary income for local people and injecting much-needed cash into the local economy.

Since then, UNDP has been working to rehabilitate social services in the city, with over 600 individual projects being undertaken across both East and West Mosul.

From repairing roads and bridges, to rebuilding schools and universities, to restoring electricity and running water, UNDP and its partners have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the rehabilitation of the city.

The collaborative efforts of UNMAS, UNDP and the Iraqi government have been successful, enabling over 1.1 million people to return to the province, with kids going back to reopened schools and Mosul getting back on its feet.

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