With new funding, the EU reaffirms its commitment to continue providing lifesaving assistance to vulnerable children in Iraq

30 September 2018
Children are exercising

Baghdad, 30 September 2018–  The European Union (EU) has contributed EUR 3 million to provide vulnerable children with lifesaving assistance, including safe drinking water, health services, quality education and psychosocial support to alleviate toxic stress from prolonged exposure to violence.  

An estimated 4 million children need urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance across Iraq.

 The humanitarian crisis in Iraq presents a major challenge where children are among the most vulnerable,” said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “Providing access to life-saving emergency supplies for displaced people, and assisting Iraqi children with healthcare, safe access to quality education, psychosocial assistance and legal protection, remain top EU priorities in Iraq.

The conflict in Iraq has left critical infrastructure in parts of the country, including schools and hospitals, partially or completely destroyed. More than half a million people are still living in displacement camps and rely on humanitarian support to survive. 

“We are very grateful for this timely contribution from the European Union which continues to be a steadfast and generous donor for UNICEF’s work for children in Iraq,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Vulnerable children and their families face countless hardships which soaring temperatures have made far worse in recent months. This contribution will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

The latest funds from the EU will build on previous achievements, including maintaining services in the camps, rehabilitating damaged schools, providing teacher trainings and learning materials so that children can learn in safe and protective environment and aspire towards a better future. 

In the first seven months of 2018, UNICEF delivered education supplies for nearly 200,000 children (including 80,000 girls) across Iraq and trained 256 teachers on education in emergencies and providing psychosocial support to students. Over 100,000 children have received psychosocial support to aid their psychological recovery. 

In support of the Iraqi government, UNICEF will also continue carrying out vaccination campaigns in areas that were affected by conflict to immunize children under five years of age against preventable diseases such as polio and measles—nearly half a million children have been immunized this year. 

The EU contributions to UNICEF in Iraq totaled €10.7 million between 2017 and 2018. The funds have supported lifesaving activities such as nutrition, water and sanitation as well as improving access to education for children displaced by conflict. 

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. The European Commission ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: civil protection and humanitarian aid. 

Through its civil protection and humanitarian aid operations department (ECHO), the European Commission helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the Commission’s civil protection and humanitarian aid operations department provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs. For more information, please visit the European Commission’s website.

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