UNICEF in Iraq
UNICEF has been active in Iraq since 1952, when a project to control malaria protected some two million people from the disease. For the next three decades, UNICEF developed maternal and child health services, trained health personnel and equipped educational training institutions. In 1983, UNICEF established an office in Iraq.
In 1990, following the first Gulf war, UNICEF implemented an emergency programme to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women. Throughout the sanctions era of the 1990s, UNICEF focused on rehabilitating social services, providing life-saving therapeutic feeding to severely malnourished children and assisting the most vulnerable children. In 1997, via the “Oil for Food” programme, UNICEF addressed the deteriorating health situation of children, the increasing number of school drop-outs and the protection of children deprived of care.
From 2003-2008, UNICEF ensured emergency access to water and sanitation, primary health care, nutrition, education and child protection services for millions of children and women affected by extreme violence. In 2009, UNICEF reoriented its country programme to support the Government of Iraq develop child-friendly social policies, modernize its institutions and improve the nationwide delivery of basic services critical to the future survival and development of children.
In 2012-2013 as the conflict in Syria brought 250,000 refugees to the Kurdistan region, UNICEF established water and sanitation, education, health, and child protection services in refugee camps and in host communities.
Since 2014, when internal conflict uprooted millions of Iraqis and placed millions more in need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF has been working with its partners to meet critical, life saving needs as well as providing emergency and longer term programmes which support children and families.
UNICEF's Country Office is located in Baghdad. Field Offices are located in Erbil, Dohuk, Baghdad and Basra. UNICEF also maintains a field presence in Sulaymaniyah.