2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Middle East and North Africa--Learning to Recognize the Threat

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Date: 2015 Description: MAG trains teams to deliver risk education lessons to adults and children in vulnerable communities throughout Iraq.  © Photo courtesy of Sean Sutton/MAG.

Since early 2014 the attacks by ISIL militants in Iraq have displaced tens of thousands of Iraqi families—and made them more vulnerable than ever to the hidden hazards of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. As fighting broke out near his home near Mosul, Mobhij, a 48-year-old landmine survivor from the Iraq-Iran war, fled the violence with his family and found refuge in a church in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. Mobhij and his family, like many other displaced persons in Iraq, find themselves in some of the country’s regions most affected by UXO, but with little knowledge on specific locations likely to contain the greatest risk or how to recognize dangerous objects to avoid.

MAG, with funding from the Department of State, has provided risk education to more than 14,000 Iraqis from various towns and villages near Mosul. Mobhij and his family recently learned how to identify the dangerous items they might encounter. They also learned safe behavior near potentially hazardous areas and how to report noticeable threats. “I wish I had known this before. I feel very relieved now that my family and I know about the dangers and what to do if we see these weapons again,” says Mobhij.