© UNICEF/HQ07-1621/Kamber

An ethnic Kurd family lives in a temporary shelter in a village near the northern city of Erbil in Iraq. They fled their home after receiving death threats. Over 1 million Iraqis have been internally displaced by violence.


The ongoing conflict in Iraq continues to have a devastating impact on Iraqi children. Over 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled their homes since February 2006, of which 70 per cent are children and women. Insecurity has closed schools, eroded access to quality health care and safe water, and left many children without caregivers. Meanwhile, communities hosting displaced families are being overwhelmed, their coping mechanisms close to breaking point. In 2008, UNICEF will reach up to 532,650 acutely vulnerable Iraqi children and women.


UNICEF Iraq is reinforcing its humanitarian programming through an integrated operational framework designed to reach a greater number of affected Iraqi families with a needs-based and holistic assistance package. This mechanism will link to existing coordination structures such as the cluster approach, in which UNICEF Iraq is an active participant and has leadership responsibilities in the education & culture and infrastructure & rehabilitation clusters, with deputy leadership status for the health & nutrition cluster. Other key clusters in which UNICEF actively participates is the IDP, refugee and durable solutions cluster and the governance cluster.

Health and nutrition: To assure access to basic medical services for up to 60,000 affected families, UNICEF will support immunization campaigns; supply emergency medical drugs and equipment; promote outreach service to remote communities; provide support to malnourished children; and maintain preparedness for major outbreaks, including diarrhoeal disease.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: To provide safe water and sanitation facilities to 720,000 vulnerable persons, UNICEF will supply emergency water; repair water supply and sewage networks; construct latrines; distribute essential household hygiene materials; and promote hygiene and waste disposal awareness.

Education: Up to 149,000 displaced and war-affected children and 2,300 teachers will benefit from basic school materials and recreational kits, teacher training, through the provision of temporary learning spaces or durable construction/rehabilitation of classroom structures.

Child protection and mine action: UNICEF will increase support to separated/ unaccompanied children by developing and strengthening community-based protection mechanisms; reinforce community-based approaches for the prevention of and response to gender-based violence; and advocate for the release and reintegration of children who remain within armed groups and in detention. Efforts to reintegrate children living in Iraq’s orphanages and other institutions will be intensified. UNICEF will continue providing mine-risk education (MRE) to affected communities via schools and other community structures designing and disseminating MRE materials and facilitating MRE learning events in affected communities.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 10,519,579
Water, sanitation and hygiene 16,295,290
Education 10,964,147
Child protection and mine action 5,503,844
Total* 43,282,860

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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