How to Help Iraq's Children

In Iraq, over 5 million people — about half of them children — require humanitarian assistance

The people of Iraq continue to suffer the brutal effects of years of conflict and sectarian violence and COVID-19.

Although armed violence has declined, many children and families live in unstable areas where security remains a major concern. Efforts to recover and build resilience were hobbled in 2020 by the COVID-19 crisis coupled with a severe downturn in the economy. Those displaced by war and living in camps are being displaced again as government camps are shut. 

Pandemic-related school closures continue to affect millions of children, jeopardizing their futures and heightening risks of violence, exploitation and abuse. Only 39 percent of households have safely-managed drinking water.

The number of children and adolescents living in poverty is set to double, from 20 percent to 40 percent, according to an assessment conducted in late 2020 by Iraq's Ministry of Planning, with support from UNICEF and the World Bank.

Here's what UNICEF is doing to help:

UNICEF's ongoing response is focused on helping Iraq's families rebuild their lives. In 2020, UNICEF, together with partners:

  • enabled access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene for nearly 800,000 people  
  • supported the rehabilitation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in hundreds of schools and primary health care centers, benefiting tens of thousands
  • delivered learning supplies to over 300,000 children 
  • trained over 9,000 teachers
  • supported remote learning options for children and blended approaches for a Back to Learning campaign
  • trained hundreds of humanitarian workers in gender-based violence prevention
  • vaccinated over a half a million children against polio
  • reached hundreds of thousands of children and caregivers with child protection services and support

UNICEF is appealing to donors for $70.8 million in 2021 to support continued efforts to improve and sustain essential services amid overlapping crises.

Help UNICEF save and protect vulnerable children in Iraq. Your donation is 100% tax deductible.