© A.Carle/Handicap International
Handicap International works with disabled people's organisations and service providers in Iraq to make everyday services accessible to all. We promote the rights of people with disabilities, create awareness about the needs and abilities of disabled people, and work to reduce the number of people killed and injured by accidents involving landmines and explosive weapons.
Handicap International's activities in Iraq were launched in 1992 in the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf War. Since then we have provided rehabilitation care in northern Iraq by supporting rehabilitation centres and mobile rehabilitation units.
In 2003 we launched a huge mine risk education campaign to prevent accidents caused by landmines and other explosive weapons. At the same time we set up a demining programme in the densely populated suburbs of Baghdad to identify and safely destroy cluster munitions and other deadly weapons, which littered the ground. That demining team is still working today. Over time, we have also trained physiotherapists and launched initiatives to make rehabilitation services more accessible.
Following the recent fighting which has displaced people within northern Iraq, Handicap International has launched an emergency operation to support the most vulnerable families.
With millions of landmines and other explosive weapons still contaminating large parts of the country, Iraqis live with the legacy of conflict every single day. Demining and mine risk education will need to continue for years. Ongoing violence has left vital infrastructure, including health services, struggling to recover and many people with injuries have been unable to access the treatment and care they need.
• Human Development Index: 131st out of 186
• Life expectancy: 69 years
• Population: 33 million
Source: UNDP HDR 2013