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NEW YORK (March 22, 2017) – “I leave Iraq at a time when the country is facing significant challenges and opportunities.

“Yet everywhere I visited – East Mosul, Baghdad, Fallujah, Erbil – children and their families told me of their dreams and their determination to make them real.”

“I spoke to a family in East Mosul living near a water distribution point. The family taught their children at home for more than two years.

“Their thirst for water was matched by their thirst for education, the key to a better future.

“In Fallujah, boys and girls in schools reopened amid the debris of war that still marks that city said they wanted to be doctors and engineers.

“We are working with the Government of Iraq to provide all children in Iraq, with the resources they need to reach those dreams -- whether that means new classrooms, notebooks or accelerated learning programs.

“Because it is these students who, if they have the skills in their heads and healing in their hearts, will move the country from the conflicts of the past towards a peaceful future.

“But even as those who are returning to their homes and classrooms are looking forward, 1.4 million children are still uprooted by the violence in Iraq, and some 200,000 children are trapped in Mosul.

“UNICEF is working hard to provide children and families affected by the crisis in Mosul with lifesaving supplies of water, access to sanitation facilities, psychosocial support and the opportunity to get back to learning as soon as possible.

“Because when the fighting comes to a halt, that will not be an end: it will be the beginning of building an intergenerational peace in a great nation that has seen too little of it.”

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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Sophie Aziakou, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 917.720.1397,