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Baghdad / Erbil 6 June 2019– Lord Jack McConnell, a member of the British House of Lords and Vice President of UNICEF UK, has completed a 5-day visit to Iraq and met with children and families who survived the brutal conflict that has left 1.6 million people—half of them children—displaced from their homes.
During his trip, Lord McConnell visited a UNICEF-supported school in west Mosul—one of the areas most affected by conflict and where children’s needs remain immense. He also visited camps hosting Syrian refugees and displaced people from Sinjar and Mosul.
“For years, children in Mosul and areas that were under the so-called Islamic State control were deprived of their right to education. Now with the support of UNICEF, nearly 2000 schools have reopened and children have finally been able to resume their studies,” explained Lord McConnell.
“As Mosul is rebuilt, we need to help people rebuild their lives. Let’s replace fear with hope and ensure that children in Iraq have a better future,” he added.
Lord McConnell, who is also Chair of the McConnell International Foundation met with UN agencies and NGO partners to ascertain the overall humanitarian needs in Iraq. He also met with UNICEF Representative to Iraq, Ms. Hamida Lasseko, to discuss the difficulties facing Iraqi children.
“Large-scale conflict may have ended, but the situation for children and young people in Iraq remains bleak and their future under threat. Approximately 2.6 million are either out of school or at risk of missing out on their education as result of poverty or displacement,” said Ms. Lasseko.
“We are grateful to Lord Jack McConnell for visiting Iraq and shinning a light on the needs of children,” she also said.
UNICEF is supporting the Government of Iraq to provide basic services, including education, water and sanitation, health and nutrition and protection to vulnerable children and their families in camps as well as in areas affected by conflict.
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.