The Government of Japan Contributes US $3 Million for Childhood Education in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq, 7 August

Children attend classes in a child friendly school that operates with assistance from the Government of Japan.
Children attend classes in a child friendly school that operates with assistance from the Government of Japan.


BAGHDAD, Iraq, 7 August – Conflict continues to flair across Iraq as the government engages in military operations to systematically reclaim areas under control of armed opposition groups. Since May 2016, these operations have led to additional displacement of approximately 200,000 civilians, including over 85,000 people in Anbar Governorate. In addition, military activities in areas around Mosul have led to 18,000 families being displaced. Half of all the displaced people are children who have missed out on up to two years of education.

Education is one of the least funded interventions in Iraq, and the Government of Japan’s generous donation US $3 million will ensure boys and girls affected by the crises have safe access to education, which not only gives them learning opportunities, but also gives them a sense of normalcy, teaches them important life skills, strengthens their resilience and restores their hope for a better life.

“The children of Iraq have suffered tremendous losses over the past years. Without an opportunity to regain their childhood, they will not be able to grow into productive adults. A quality education is not only their right, but is the best chance these children have to get back their childhood and become the leaders of tomorrow who can rebuild an Iraq that once again becomes a regional and world intellectual leader,” remarked Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Iraq Country Representative. 

This most recent grant from the Government of Japan will allow UNICEF and partners to establish educational opportunities for IDP children between the ages of 5 to 17 years from Fallujah and Ramadi residing in multiple displacement camps in Anbar Governorate. Specific activities will include establishing temporary learning spaces in tented classrooms or rented spaces, provision of education materials, teacher training, and recreational activities.

Political instability, protracted internal violence and mass displacement in Iraq continue to destroy childhoods in Iraq. At the start of 2016, an estimated 10 million people need some kind of humanitarian support, including more than 2 million people living in areas outside government control, while at least 3 million Iraqis, around 47 percent children under 18 years, were displaced and forced to cope with disrupted lives, loss of livelihoods, and disintegration of social networks.

UNICEF requires approximately US $70 million to continue its emergency and regular programming just for 2016.