UNICEF IRAQ Country Programme Document 2020-2024


The country programme of cooperation is designed to support the Government of Iraq, at national and subnational levels, to accelerate the realization of rights for all children in Iraq. The vision of this country programme is that by 2024, children, adolescents and women in Iraq are better protected and have more equitable and inclusive access to quality basic services.” The theory of change supports the Government to develop an enabling environment at national and subnational levels to ensure that all girls and boys survive and thrive, learn, and are protected from violence and neglect on a sustainable basis. 

The programme is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is aligned with UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2018–2021 and Gender Action Plan, 2018–2021 and is consistent with the key pillars of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2020–2024. Its outcomes support national priorities in the National Development Plan 2018–2022, the Poverty Reduction Strategy 2018–2022, and the Kurdistan Regional Government ‘Vision 2020’. 

The programme addresses gaps in the enabling environment, including social norms; access to and quality of basic services (supply) as well as demand for services. To address the long-term impact of conflict and exposure to violence on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children, adolescents, their caregivers and communities, a multisectoral risk-informed approach is required, relying on community structures and mechanisms. UNICEF will strengthen decentralized capacities for the effective, equitable and integrated provision of services, especially in geographic areas with pockets of higher vulnerability and greater disparities. While maintaining a sectoral programme structure, based on the multidimensional nature of Iraqi poverty, multisectoral programming will be applied for early childhood and adolescence. 

The country programme will work at national, subnational and community levels. While some system-strengthening elements will have national coverage, the programme will focus on 10 selected governorates (out of 18) and on most deprived and hard-to-reach children and women, including those with disabilities, internally displaced persons and refugees. 

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