ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – One in four Iraqi child lives in poverty, and about four million are in need of humanitarian aid due to the war against the Islamic State (IS), the United Nation’s children agency reported on Sunday.
The UN has recorded 150 attacks on education facilities and 50 assaults on health centers. Half of all schools in Iraq now require repairs and more than 3 million children have had their education interrupted, UNICEF said in a statement.
Iraq declared victory over IS in Dec. 2017, after more than three years of fierce fighting against the jihadist group. The country needs $100 billion in aid to rebuild its infrastructure and revive its economy, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Kuwait will host an international conference on Iraq’s reconstruction on Feb. 12-14.
“Children are Iraq’s future,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Kuwait Conference for Iraq this week is an opportunity for world leaders to show that we are willing to invest in children - and through investing in children, that we are willing to invest in rebuilding a stable Iraq.”
“Children are hardest hit in times of conflict, and Iraq’s urban crisis recovery and reconstruction should be prioritized, adequately supported and quickly implemented, with special attention to vulnerable people, including children,” said, Zena Ali Ahmad the Director of Arab Region of UN-Habitat.
So far, Iraq’s 2018 budget bill, prepared by Abadi’s government, has not been approved by the Iraqi Parliament as most of the Kurdish and Sunni lawmakers are opposed to the draft which does not allocate sufficient funding for their respective regions.
The United States, which leads the Global Coalition and provided Iraq with crucial air support in the fight against the jihadist group, announced it does not plan to contribute any money at the Kuwait conference.
Editing by Nadia Riva