By John Lee.

A recent contribution of USD2.8 million by the European Union has provided immediate relief to 90,000 vulnerable people -half of them children – in emergency camps in Salamiya, Hamam al Alil and Jeda’a 1 and 5 IDP camps within Ninawa governorate.

Only 39 per cent of Iraq’s population have access to safely managed drinking water. The situation is particularly dire for thousands of vulnerable families living in camps and who depend on humanitarian support for their survival.

“The generous contribution from the EU enabled UNICEF to continue trucking in safe water for drinking and cooking. This helped to protect the health of children and their families from dangerous diseases, including Acute Watery Diarrhea and Cholera, both which can result from the consumption of unsafe water,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.

Funds were also used to support appropriate sanitation facilities and maintaining a clean and hygienic environment through care maintenance and waste management, water quality monitoring and distribution.

Iraqi and non-Iraqi children continue to be vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation and in need of protection prevention and response services in both camp and non-camp settings. In addition, many of the children in former conflict areas do not have birth certificate and other civil document, which is a legacy of conflict and upheaval in Iraq. This has restricted their ability to move out of camps and to access to social services like health, education and social protection.

Thanks to the EU’s longstanding support, UNICEF has also been able to:

  • repatriate 200 foreign children back to their countries of origin;
  • provide psychosocial services to 4,235 children (2125 girls);
  • legal assistance to 596 children (188 girls) in contact with the law;
  • A further 1,107 children (373 girls) received birth registration and civil documentation.

(Source: UN)

UN in Iraq raises the alarm: Time to endorse the anti-domestic violence law

The UN in Iraq urges the Iraqi Parliament to speed up the endorsement of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law amid alarming reports of a rise in gender-based and domestic violence cases perpetrated across the country, especially with increased household tensions as a result of the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) offices in Iraq express their concern at the rising number in domestic violence cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last week, multiple reports emerged of the rape of a woman with special needs, spousal abuse, immolation and self-immolation as well as self-inflicted injuries due to spousal abuse, sexual harassment of minors, and suicide due to domestic abuse among other crimes. Such crimes raise the alarm for the urgency to endorse the Anti-Domestic Violence Law in Iraq.

The UN in Iraq calls upon authorities to ensure that the judicial systems continue to prosecute abusers, invest more in hotline and online services, support the role of civil society organisations, keep shelter doors open for women fleeing abuse and punish perpetrators of any gender-based violence.

As United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said:

“Many women under lockdown for COVID-19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes. Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world. I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic.”

We reiterate the Secretary General’s call and ask the authorities in Iraq to prioritise the protection of women and children as part of their COVID-19 response.

The adoption of a law on Domestic Violence will help to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence in Iraq, such as those who carried out the heinous incidents seen in recent past, are held accountable.

Violence against women and girls is a crime and should not go unpunished. The women and girls of Iraq deserve better.

UNFPA Representative in Iraq, Dr Oluremi Sogunro

OHCHR Representative in Iraq, Danielle Bell

UNICEF Representative in Iraq, Hamida Ramadhani Lasseko

UN Women Representative in Iraq, Dina Zorba

(Source: UNFPA)

UN in Iraq raises the alarm: Time to endorse the anti-domestic violence law

The UN in Iraq urges the Iraqi Parliament to speed up the endorsement of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law amid alarming reports of a rise in gender-based and domestic violence cases perpetrated across the country, especially with increased household tensions as a result of the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) offices in Iraq express their concern at the rising number in domestic violence cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last week, multiple reports emerged of the rape of a woman with special needs, spousal abuse, immolation and self-immolation as well as self-inflicted injuries due to spousal abuse, sexual harassment of minors, and suicide due to domestic abuse among other crimes. Such crimes raise the alarm for the urgency to endorse the Anti-Domestic Violence Law in Iraq.

The UN in Iraq calls upon authorities to ensure that the judicial systems continue to prosecute abusers, invest more in hotline and online services, support the role of civil society organisations, keep shelter doors open for women fleeing abuse and punish perpetrators of any gender-based violence.

As United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said:

“Many women under lockdown for COVID-19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes. Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world. I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic.”

We reiterate the Secretary General’s call and ask the authorities in Iraq to prioritise the protection of women and children as part of their COVID-19 response.

The adoption of a law on Domestic Violence will help to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence in Iraq, such as those who carried out the heinous incidents seen in recent past, are held accountable.

Violence against women and girls is a crime and should not go unpunished. The women and girls of Iraq deserve better.

UNFPA Representative in Iraq, Dr Oluremi Sogunro

OHCHR Representative in Iraq, Danielle Bell

UNICEF Representative in Iraq, Hamida Ramadhani Lasseko

UN Women Representative in Iraq, Dina Zorba

(Source: UNFPA)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

UNICEF partners with the Republic of Korea to provide water and sanitation services for the most vulnerable children in Iraq

Approximately 3 million children and young people across Iraq need humanitarian support as they try to recover from years of conflict and violence.

The Republic of Korea has partnered with UNICEF and contributed US$1 million to provide water and sanitation services to the most vulnerable children living in displacement camps in Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al Din-areas hardest hit by the violence.

Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq, said:

“An estimated 30 per cent of displaced children live in camps, where humanitarian needs are greatest. The contribution from the Republic of Korea will ensure we are able to continue providing critical services such as safe drinking water as well as maintaining sanitation facilities to promote hygiene and protect children from preventable diseases.”

In addition to the provision of safe drinking water for nearly 60,000 people in the displacement camps, the contribution from the Korea will support the following activities:

  • care and maintenance of the existing water systems including the network, taps, water tanks and water purification units;
  • care and maintenance for the sanitation facilities, including repair of latrines, showers, toilet pans, and septic tanks;
  • waste collection services;
  • dissemination of information, education, and communication materials on water conservation, safe purification and storage of water, and hygiene awareness sessions will take place to help maintain positive practices in the targeted population.

In 2019, the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Cluster (WASH) co-led by UNICEF and other non-governmental organizations reached over 1.8 million people with safe water in Ninewa, Salah al Din and Anbar.

(Source: UN)

More than 3.1 million Iraqi children to be vaccinated against polio

Health authorities in Iraq in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have launched a campaign to reach more than 3.1 million children under five years of age with lifesaving polio vaccinations.

The five-day campaign aims to target children in 65 districts in the governorates of Baghdad, Babylon, Diwaniya, Diyala, Muthanna, Thi-Qar, Missan and Basra.

“Over the years, WHO, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF have worked hard to improve the immunization coverage in the country. Therefore it is very important that we keep building on our work by making sure that children are vaccinated against childhood preventable diseases like polio, hence keeping Iraq free of polio” said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative for Iraq.

“During this second phase of the campaign, we want to reach all the children under 5 years regardless of their previous vaccination status with Oral Polio Vaccine leaving no one out no matter where they are,” added Dr Adham

WHO supported the development of micro plans to guide the vaccination team day by day, mobilized and trained 1300 supervisors and more than 13000 vaccinators to carry out the campaign. In addition, it is also paying all the vaccination costs including transportation and other incentives to ensure that all children are reached using the door-to-door and at fixed centers stationed in health facilities strategy.

“These vaccines act as a shield, protecting children and babies from diseases, saving thousands of lives in Iraq each year. UNICEF continues to work hard with our partners to ensure that vaccines reach as many children as possible,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.

UNICEF worked to ensure that beneficiaries are aware of the importance of the vaccination campaign and that vaccines are properly forecasted, stored and managed; it also provided technical support to public health workers as they developed a detailed and up to date map of target children irrespective of whether the children are IDPs, refugees, returnees or in host communities, or whether they live in urban, rural, official or unofficial settings.

This is the second phase of the polio campaign after the first one conducted in September that reached 2.6 million children. Vaccines remain the most cost-effective preventive measure against vaccine-preventable diseases like polio, WHO, and UNICEF are committed to supporting the health authorities to reach every eligible child in the country with the needed vaccines irrespective of their location.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, UNICEF launches an online petition asking decision-makers to invest more in Iraqi children

This week, UNICEF Iraq launched its #Pledge4Children petition to kick off its celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, or CRC.

The CRC is the most ratified human rights treaty in history and the most comprehensive set of rights for children. When world leaders came together, in a rare moment of international unity, to adopt the CRC, they committed themselves to fulfilling their obligations by ensuring that every child and adolescent is able to exercise his or her full rights.

The Government of Iraq signed up to the convention in June 1994.

“By ratifying the convention, Iraq committed itself to making sure every child is protected, educated, and able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life,” explained UNICEF Iraq Representative Hamida Lasseko.

Tremendous progress has been made since then, despite years of conflict and instability in the country. More, however, still needs to be done to ensure that children in Iraq are protected and have their full rights as enshrined in the CRC, including their right to education, play, freedom, and safety.

In order to do so, UNICEF Iraq is asking the Iraqi public to endorse its #Pledge4Children online asking decision-makers to reaffirm their commitment to children’s rights.

“We are calling on all of you to show your support for children and adolescents in Iraq. Every voice counts. We want you to add yours to our campaign by signing our petition and pledge for children today,” added Ms Lasseko.

The pledge calls for decision-makers to:

  • Increase public investments in quality health care, quality education, and safe water, so that every child and adolescent has a fair chance to reach his or her full potential
  • Listen to children and adolescents impacted by our policies and services and take their voices into consideration when formulating policies that impact their lives
  • Ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence and abuse

#Pledge4Children is part of UNICEF’s year-long run of activities, workshops and partnerships to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the CRC and raise awareness about children’s rights in Iraq.

Listen to Ms. Lasseko’s full message in this video & Sign the petition and #Pledge4Children to call on Iraqi leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child in Iraq and invest more in children.

(Source: UN)