Since January 2014, Iraq has suffered from intense conflict and sectarian violence. More than 10 million people need immediate lifesaving assistance, including 4.7 million children.
Nationwide, the number of displaced people — half of them children — has risen to 3.3 million.
Displaced Iraqi children risk separation from their parents, injury from improvised explosive devices, and exploitation and child trafficking.
Now, more than half a million children and their families in Mosul will be at extreme risk as a military operation to retake the northern Iraqi city from ISIL gets under way.
“Mosul’s children have already suffered immensely over the past two years. Many could be ... trapped between fighting lines or caught in the cross fire,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
Mobile teams are on standby to care for the most critical cases of mental and physical trauma. Together with Iraq's Ministry of Health, UNICEF also has over 50 teams on standby to start a vaccination campaign against diseases like polio and measles.
Across Iraq, UNICEF is providing essential services for children and families affected by conflict. These include rapid delivery of food and water, temporary schools, child protection and psychosocial support and healthcare (including polio and measles vaccinations).