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A MAG deminer in Iraq

A MAG Iraq deminer stops work to allow schoolchildren to pass near a minefield in the north of the country. MAG has cleared more than 64 million square metres of land in Iraq since 2003. [Photo: Sean Sutton / MAG]

Millions of landmines and unexploded bombs threaten lives and limbs, and impede economic recovery, in Iraq – the legacy of more than 30 years of conflict.

The exact number is unknown, but according to Government estimates more than 1,730 km2 of land in Iraq is contaminated, affecting more than 1.6 million people in approximately 4,000 communities across the country. The UN estimates that nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmines.

The contamination has multiple sources: the Iraq–Iran war of the 1980s, internal conflicts between rival religious and political parties, the Gulf War in 1991 and the 2003 invasion by allied forces.

Since 2003, MAG has cleared over 64 million square metres of land in Iraq, destroying more than 70,000 landmines and 1.5 million pieces of unexploded ordnance in the process.

We have also given nearly 10,000 Risk Education sessions, spreading life-saving safety messages to men, women and children at risk from these deadly items.

New roads, schools, hospitals and entire villages have been built on land cleared by MAG, while thousands of farmers have been able to work in safety on former minefields. MAG also contributes to integrated attempts to improve infrastructure and development in Iraq, clearing land to make way for plans to build airports, hotels and for improved telecommunications.

MAG currently has three sectors of operation, in the Dohuk, Erbil and Chamchamal areas of northern Iraq.


Infographic: MAG's impact in Iraq


MAG in Iraq infographic


The scale of the problem


Valamara landmines in Iraq  


Supporting Syrian refugees


Gallery: Domiz Refugee Camp for Syrians

A Syrian family at Domiz Refugee Camp


Domiz Refugee Camp photo gallery


Iraq 2010 – Saving lives


Domiz Refugee Camp for Syrians, 2013



Case study: Bringing a 'dead place' to life


Timeline: 20 years of MAG in Iraq

The New Zakho project


A Risk Education session with Iraqi children


See also:

More case studies and news from Iraq

Thanks to all the public, institutional and government donors to MAG's operations in Iraq, including:
• Act for Peace
Australian Aid
German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Irish Aid
Isle of Man Overseas Aid Committee
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
• NVESD HD R and D Program
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Stichting Vluchteling
US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement
Without this support, MAG's lifesaving work in the country could not be carried out

MAG Iraq in action

1 July 2012 – 31 January 2013
• 1,008,327 sq/m of minefields cleared
• 360 landmines removed and destroyed
• 7,497 unexploded ordnance items removed and destroyed
• 1,632 Risk Education sessions conducted
• 121,511 beneficiaries of MAG's work

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MAG Iraq donors

Thanks to the following donors to MAG's operations in Iraq:

Act for Peace
Australian Aid / AusAID
• Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Federal Republic of Germany

• Irish Aid
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
• NVESD Humanitarian Demining Research & Development Program
• Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
• Stichting Vluchteling

• US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement

Without their funding, our work in the country could not be carried out.

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About MAG

MAG (Mines Advisory Group) saves and improves lives by reducing the devastating effects armed violence and remnants of conflict have on people around the world.
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Co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize  |  Registered as a charitable company in the UK  |  Company no: 4016409  Charity no: 1083008  |  ISO 9001:2008 accredited  |  International Mine Action Standards compliant  |  Signatory of the ICRC Code of Conduct  |  Member of the Fundraising Standards Board scheme  |  Registered office: Suite 3A, South Central, 11 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR, United Kingdom