Friday, May 25, 2007


UNICEF needs $42 mn. to help Iraqi children

(UNICEF) - Conditions for Iraqi children affected by violence and displacement have reached a critical point, UNICEF has said. The children’s organization requires $42 million to provide relief over the next six months for children inside Iraq, as well as those who fled with their families to neighbouring Jordan and Syria.
“Humanitarian aid offers a lifeline to Iraq’s children and stepping up support now is the best way to protect and invest in Iraq’s future,” said Daniel Toole, Acting Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and Chief of Emergency Operations. “Plans are in place to reach Iraq’s most vulnerable children with basic health, water, sanitation and education support – particularly displaced children living in host communities, as well as children living in Iraq’s most violent districts.”
UNICEF will also help the Jordanian and Syrian governments in providing quality social services for the growing population of Iraqi children. Initial priorities in these countries include ensuring that Iraqi children have full access to the classroom, health care and protection from exploitation.
“Iraq’s drain of care-givers is creating major gaps in children’s daily lives, an issue often overlooked amid the violence,” said Roger Wright, UNICEF Special Representative for Iraq. “We need to fill these gaps to address the most debilitating effects of the insecurity. Conditions for too many Iraqi children are deteriorating,” he added.
Last week Iraq reported its first suspected cholera cases of the year (all of them children), increasing fears of a serious outbreak over the summer months. The deterioration of Iraq’s water and sanitation systems means only an estimated 30 per cent of children have access to safe water. Health services are becoming increasingly hard to access. And with many schools hit hard by insecurity and overcrowding, too few children are completing this school year with a quality education.

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