MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Iraq and vulnerable Iraqis in the Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Syrian Arab Republic

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0694/Kamber

A boy stands on a debris-choked street in the city of Nasariyah, in Dhi Qar Governorate. Since the war began in 2003, violence has displaced millions of Iraqis, decimated infrastructure and deepened poverty.

Children and women in crisis

Unremitting violence not only sets the backdrop of daily life in much of Iraq, it has also weakened governance and crippled the ability of the country to feed, protect and educate its citizenry. Political and economic turmoil has led to the great vulnerability of women and children, who are threatened by poverty, undernutrition, lack of safe water and sanitation, insufficient educational resources and the prospect of personal violence and abuse. Iraqis must contend with threats of drought, decimated infrastructure and a large population of refugees and internally displaced people. The number of displaced Iraqis is counted in the millions, with a large number of Iraqis seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and over a million displaced inside the country since the height of 2006 violence. Return of people to their homes is thwarted by continuing fears and insecurity. Vulnerable Iraqi women and children – whether in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon or the Syrian Arab Republic – require sustained, intense assistance to assure basic living standards and fundamental protection in a context of war, violence and political discord.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

UNICEF has multiple cluster responsibilities in Iraq as lead of the education and WASH clusters, deputy lead of the health and nutrition cluster with the World Health Organization, and deputy of the protection cluster with UNHCR. In 2011, UNICEF will continue to work with the Governments of Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, other UN agencies and NGOs in addressing the needs of 3.5 million vulnerable Iraqis.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$49,857,545 was needed to fund its humanitarian work in Iraq and neighbouring countries. As of October 2010, a total of US$7,220,298 had been received for Iraq and a total of US$10,158,315 for the regional response to vulnerable Iraqis living in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. Despite the shortfall in funding, UNICEF provided 7 metric tons of F100 and F75 therapeutic milk for the recovery of over 2,000 undernourished children in Iraq. In Anbar, Basrah, Missan and Thiqar Provinces, 43,000 children under 5 and 17,000 pregnant women gained better access to primary health care. Improved access to safe water and sanitation was provided to over 1 million people in 48 communities. Some 286,700 students (38 per cent of them girls) and 17,390 teachers (44 per cent women) were directly supported through emergency education interventions. UNICEF also trained 750 teachers and 7,500 children on risks and prevention of abuse.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting a total of US$40,056,000 for its work assisting vulnerable Iraqis: US$22,000,000 to carry out its planned activities in Iraq, US$14,200,000 to assist vulnerable Iraqi women and children in the Syrian Arab Republic, US$2,831,000 for those living in Jordan, US$525,000 in Lebanon and US$500,000 in Egypt. This request is in line with the UNHCR-led Regional Response Plan for Iraqi Refugees.

More information regarding results from 2010 and humanitarian action plans to benefit Iraqis in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011.

UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $40,056,000