Germany and UNICEF step up their joint efforts to reach over one million vulnerable people in Iraq.

The German Government, through the KfW Development Bank, supports UNICEF with €35 million to ensure children’s equitable access to basic sustainable social services.

15 March 2023

Baghdad, 15 March 2023 The Government of Germany, through the KfW Development Bank, has stepped up its efforts in supporting UNICEF with a €35 million grant to reach more than 1,000,000 people in Iraq, including returnees, vulnerable Iraqis, IDPs, Syrian refugees in and out of camps, host communities and marginalized groups.

This partnership will ensure equitable access to basic sustainable social services through resilience-building and system strengthening. The grant is the largest contribution by Germany to UNICEF for the period 2020-2024 and will support five main areas: water; sanitation and hygiene; education; child protection; social protection, and COVID-19 response.

Over the next two years, and as part of joint efforts to respond to climate change, this grant will enable more than one million vulnerable people, half of them girls and women, to gain improved access to sustainable, equitable and safely managed climate-resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion services.

In addition, 332,000 children and young people will be protected from violence, abuse, and exploitation in accordance with international standards. This will be achieved through preventive and responsive child protection and GBV services, including access to justice, training and mentoring of social service and justice sector, and strengthening the resilience of national systems. As part of support to education efforts, 75,000 children, including those out-of-school, will gain access to basic education and 1,500 most vulnerable young people will acquire skills to better engage in their own communities.

In addition, as part of Germany and UNICEF support to social protection and inclusion, 10,000 poor children (4,000 of them, girls) will have enhanced access to integrated education, child protection, and social protection services that are shock responsive.

“This contribution comes at a critical time in Iraq’s stabilization process,” said Sheema SenGupta, UNICEF Representative in Iraq. “It will enable us to support the Government of Iraq in improving the lives of over one million vulnerable people, including children and young people.”

“Investing in children is an investment for life,” added SenGupta. “It not only breaks the cycle of poverty, but it can shape the country’s future ensuring stability and prosperity for every child.”

“We commend UNICEF’s efforts to support vulnerable children and youth in Iraq including those still being forcibly displaced. Providing access to quality education lays the foundation for a healthy and successful society – we can’t risk losing a generation,” said the German Ambassador to Iraq, Martin Jäger. “Contributing to children and young people´s well-being is a moral, economic and social imperative to which the Government of Germany is committed to.”

“We value our partnership with UNICEF and the Government of Iraq to improve the lives of most vulnerable children and women,” said Dr. Anna Janke, Country Director of the KfW Development Bank. 

Overall, joint efforts will also pay attention to Iraq´s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the health system, including reaching 150,000 people with awareness-raising messages and social behavioral change tools and contributing to reach 60 per cent of the eligible population with COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2024.

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Durable Solutions framework for the transition from humanitarian to development in Iraq, this grant will contribute to UNICEF’s efforts to support most vulnerable children, young people, and women after years of conflict, to achieve collective results that contribute to the sustainable reduction of humanitarian needs in the country.

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Miguel Mateos Munoz
Chief of Communication
Tel: +964 7827820238
Alix Reboul-Salze
Communication Specialist
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