Government-led military campaigns and conflict to retake Iraq’s cities from the extremists, also known as Da’esh, displaced more than 5.8 million people between 2014 and 2017.
Many are still homeless or unable to return home because of what UNMAS calls “significant explosive hazard contamination” linked to airstrikes and improvised explosive devices left behind by ISIL and sometimes even planted on dead fighters.
In Mosul alone, there is an estimated 7.6 million tonnes of debris from the fighting to make safe, UNMAS believes.
In Mosul, “people want to return home, but the Old City of Western Mosul, you cannot return home to…there is nothing”, said Pehr Lodhammar, Chief of UNMAS in Iraq.
He added: “We are looking at almost two million people who are still displaced outside of their homes, their towns, their villages and our work is to ensure that they can return. We are also looking at over 100,000 houses – of the 100,000 houses destroyed or damaged – potentially with explosives assets in them.”