Iraq Country Programme 2016-2019

UNICEF in Iraq

UNICEF's Role in Iraq

How UNICEF operates in Iraq

Iraq Country Programme 2011-2014


Iraq Country Programme 2016-2019

What is the Country Programme Action Plan?

The Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) is a four year framework that outlines how UNICEF and the Government of Iraq will work together to improve the situation of Iraqi children. UNICEF’s 2016-2019 CPAP was prepared in full consultation with the Government of Iraq, civil society, members of the international community, and media. In support of the National Development Plan 2013-2017 and the Kurdistan Regional Government's 'Vision 2020', the overall goal of the 2016 - 2019 country programme is to support the Government at national, regional and subnational levels to strengthen basic social service systems to reach the most vulnerable children and women, especially those affected by conflict and displacement.

UNICEF will prioritize support for accelerating access to quality health and nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services that help to reduce newborn, infant and child mortality; support children - particularly girls - to return to school, complete quality primary education and transition to secondary education; protect children and women from violence, abuse and exploitation; and promote adolescent development and participation. 

Humanitarian actions are anticipated to contribute to a significant part of UNICEF support in Iraq. UNICEF will also continue to provide coordination for WASH, education, nutrition, and child protection in humanitarian situations. 

Whist the country programme will operation nationwide, it will focus on the governorates and districts which have the highest disparities, worst child development indicators, and significant proportion of the population living in situations of vulnerability. 

Highlights from UNICEF’s 2016-2019 Country Programme Action Plan

Below is a brief outline of the priorities of each of the seven programmes through which UNICEF implements its activities in Iraq:

Health and Nutrition

  • Strengthen routine immunization.
  • Improve neonatal health care and reduce neonatal mortality.
  • Promote appropriate infant and young child feeding (breastfeeding).
  • Reduce stunting (chronic malnutrition).

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Improve equitable access to, and use of, safe drinking water and sanitation.
  • Improve hygiene behaviours in the most vulnerable communities, and school and health facilities, including in humanitarian situations.
  • Support the Government to continue the implementation of Phase II of the Iraq Public Sector Modernization (I-PSM) programme, aiming to achieve high quality public sector performance in overcoming challenges in relation to high water consumption levels and concerns about water sustainability. 


  • Strengthen the education system to overcome critical barriers to equitable school access and to enhance education quality and learning for children aged 5 to 17 years, particularly girls, and including children in humanitarian situations.
  • Assist the large numbers of children out of school to return to the education system.

Child Protection

  • Strengthen Government-led efforts to provide access to a high quality and well-coordinated child protection system, with four interlinked strategic components: a child-friendly justice system; a child-focused social welfare system; positive family and community behaviours and attitudes; and a supportive enabling legal and policy framework. 
  • Embedded within these system pillars will be a focus on prevention, monitoring and response to abuse and violence against children and women, including in humanitarian situations.

Adolescent Development

  • Assist adolescent girls and boys to overcome a sense of isolation, social exclusion, and disengagement by increasing access to quality learning and civic engagement opportunities, initially focusing on geographic locations with large numbers of internally displaced people and in newly-accessible areas.
Social Policy and Evidence
  • Strengthen the evidence base on children's vulnerabilities in order to promote child-friendly planning and budgeting. 
Emergency Capacity and Coordination
  • Strengthen national and subnational emergency management and coordination systems, including the delivery of immediate needs and services for families affected by humanitarian crises.
  • Generate information and evidence to enhance child-centred, risk-informed emergency planning and response. 
Additional information



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