UNHCR and UNICEF open office in Basra
Both agencies to expand their programmes to the most vulnerable children and communities in southern Iraq
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have opened a joint office in Basra, southern Iraq.
The new office enables both agencies to enhance their presence in the south of Iraq from which they can expand and improve the delivery of their respective programmes in the southern governorates of Basra, Missan, Muthanna, Najaf, Qadissiya and Thi-Qar.
“This is a landmark occasion for UNICEF in Iraq,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “With over 1.5 million children deprived of many of their fundamental rights in the southern governorates, we are now in a position to expand our reach in supporting the Government with equity-driven investments to respond to their urgent needs.”
While the most deprived children in southern Iraq will be prioritized by UNICEF, internally displaced persons and refugees will be the focus of UNHCR’s interventions.
“There are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees in southern Iraq that often live in difficult conditions,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq, Ms. Claire Bourgeois. “This new office allows us to be closer to them to assess their needs and ensure they receive the special protection and services they require and have a right to have.”
UNHCR and UNICEF are supporting the Government with both humanitarian and development work across Iraq and are members of the UN’s Country Team in Iraq.