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Iraq Risks Losing a Generation

07 Jan 2016


Speaking to Reuters, the UNICEF representative in Iraq has warned of a lost generation of Iraqis, as the ongoing war against Daesh deprives millions of access to education, healthcare and basic humanitarian needs.

On a recent trip to the UK, Peter Hawkins said that the prevention of violence is the key priority for 2016, as 2 million children are unable to attend school, with a further 3 million finding study increasingly difficult as a result of disruption attributable to the conflict. A fifth of schools have been damaged, destroyed or are being used for purposes other than education, he said.

“We're at risk of losing a generation through the lack of education, health and protection.

“Schools, clinics, water facilities etc are deteriorating further and further which makes the life of children very difficult. (We're) seeing increasing signs of stunting. Nutrition is becoming a problem.”


Despite a joint UNICEF / Iraq Health Ministry programme of vaccination that saw 600,000 children in Daesh-controlled areas protected against polio and measles in 2015, Hawkins said humanitarian access remains painfully slow.


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