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Achievements in education and water supply highlight UNICEF’s continuing work in Iraq

NEW YORK, 2 February 2005 - In the last year UNICEF has managed to deliver $80 million of aid to children in Iraq – often in extremely dangerous and difficult circumstances. The greatest advances have taken place in education, but UNICEF has also supplied around 2 million litres of clean water each day for Iraqi children and families in need.

“We’ve actually tankered in water in fleets, even in the most volatile areas like Fallujah, Mosul and Sadr City in Baghdad,” says UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq Roger Wright. “We’ve guaranteed a minimum amount of drinking water available in even the worst possible security scenarios.”

UNICEF’s back-to-school campaign for 2003/2004 was the largest logistical operation ever undertaken by the organisation, involving 68,000 school-in-a-box kits, 46 million text books and the rehabilitation of hundreds of schools.

“We’ve done the same thing this year and we’ve had quite a successful school year. Schoolchildren in Iraq and their families are very supportive in getting their children back to school. They recognize the importance of education and we are very happy to provide every assistance to support that,” says Mr. Wright.

Creating a safe environment for children in Iraq remains the greatest challenge. A youth survey has just been completed and UNICEF is working with the government to get older children back to school – to provide education and to keep them protected.

UNICEF is exploring innovative ways of doing this and is organizing drop-in centres and peer support programmes through local NGOs. Making sure that children are fully occupied helps keep them out of harm’s way during conflict situations.




2 February 2005:
UNICEF’s Roger Wright highlights work in Iraq

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