© Reuters/2007/Hamed

Iraqi refugees join local children in a class in Amman, capital of Jordan. More than two million Iraqis are refugees in neighbouring countries; 750,000 are in Jordan.


The global deterioration of the security situation inside Iraq over the last few years has prompted an unprecedented exodus of Iraqis from the country. In neighbouring countries alone, some 2 million Iraqis have now been taken in. Jordan, which is hosting up to 750,000 Iraqis, is one of the most affected countries. The Government of Jordan, who is not a signatory of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, has accepted the Iraqis as guests.


UNICEF is the sector leader in education and is facilitating much of the basic necessary work in the health and nutrition sectors. UNICEF is taking the lead in trying to meet the protection needs of the displaced Iraqi community in Jordan. In 2008, UNICEF expects to reach at least 250,000 displaced Iraqis in Jordan.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will procure essential emergency drugs/equipment for women and children to be distributed to health centres dealing with large numbers of Iraqi outpatients; support the Government in its immunization activities providing cold-chain equipment, vaccines and syringes; administer appropriate micronutrients to vulnerable children and pregnant/ lactating women; train health workers linked to schools in a basic set of core psychosocial skills that will enable them to recognize, manage and, where necessary, refer children and their carers suffering serious distress.
Education: UNICEF will continue purchasing essential supplies for Iraqi students through the Ministry of Education (including 40,000 free textbooks); train at least 1,800 additional teachers to deal with the identification, basic treatment and appropriate referral of Iraqi children suffering environmental, social and emotional distress; continue supporting NGO partners to identify and help both Iraqi and Jordanian children requiring special assistance to return to school. Finally, in 2008 UNICEF will endeavour to integrate Iraqi children into existing governmental non-formal education programmes. In addition, and in any case, UNICEF will support NGOs working in this domain to ensure that, wherever possible, Iraqi children join the mainstream public schooling system and, where this is not possible, they receive vocational training or, at the very least, a minimum package of life skills.

Child protection: UNICEF will develop afternoon clubs and parent/teacher associations where staff and teachers are trained in psychosocial skills and children engage in activities that will facilitate their integration into their new schools and reduce their environmental, social and emotional distress. In each of the five areas where there is high concentration of Iraqi children, UNICEF will provide at least one community-based organization with enhanced training/support to identify child protection problems.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 3,812,000
Education 11,770,000
Child protection 450,000
Total* 16,032,000

* 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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