Baghdad, Iraq 11 March 2020 –Japan has contributed US $ 4.4 million to support UNICEF’s health and nutrition programmes for some of Iraq’s most vulnerable children and their families.
The grant will target population in displacement camps as well as seven governorates impacted by conflict and displacement, including Dohuk, Erbil, Suleimaniyah, Kirkuk, Ninewah, Salahaddin, and Anbar.
“Japan is a friend to the children of Iraq. We are thankful for their support during this critical period where we must act with a sense of urgency to ensure that children are vaccinated against preventable diseases and families are able to access adequate healthcare,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq.
The contribution will ensure over 1 million highly vulnerable children under five are immunized against preventable diseases. Refugees and pregnant women will also be supported with a comprehensive package of health and nutrition assistance.
H.E. Mr. HASHIMOTO Naofumi, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, said:
“Japan has recently decided to provide a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 41 million including this project as assistance for children and mothers. With this package, the total amount of Japan’s assistance to people affected by the crisis reaches USD 540 million since 2014.
“I hope that the assistance from the Government and people of Japan will help enhance access to basic health and nutrition services for vulnerable children and mothers,” he added.
Iraq’s health sector has been severely decimated by years conflict and under investments, leaving the most vulnerable children and families struggling to access lifesaving services.
In Ninewah and Salaheddin, two governorates that were heavily impacted by the violence, only 50 percent and 60 percent of health centers, respectively, are fully functioning. This has placed enormous pressure on functioning health facilities as they try to cope with growing demands as more and more families leave displacement camp and return to their homes.
In addition, the contribution will also be used to support approximately 100 health centers in the targeted governorates with new equipment and cold chain storage to ensure proper storage of vaccination.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.