Iraq

Delivering emergency child protection, education and psychosocial support in conflict-affected areas.

Facts and figures

- Three projects
- Five million children affected by conflict
- 16,543 total participants

What is happening in Iraq?

Iraq has been beset by violence and instability since the removal of President Saddam Hussein in 2003. Recent years have seen brutal territorial battles between government forces and armed groups mainly affiliated with Islamic State (IS).

Combat operations against IS have now ended but sporadic acts of violence are still being recorded - particularly in areas where IS retains local support. The aftermath of the war has seen millions of people forced from their homes - some two million people remain on the move inside the country’s borders.

Poverty is widespread and increasing. Some 6.7 million Iraqis currently need urgent humanitarian assistance - almost half of them children. These children face many direct threats to their safety - including abduction, sexual violence and forced recruitment into armed groups.

Children in areas under IS control have experienced significant and distressing events - particularly incidents of physical and mental violence. Some children have been abducted and used as human shields and child soldiers. All of these children are in acute need of psychosocial support.

“We help the children deal with their fears and show them that people do care about them."
Peter Schouten, War Child Holland

What we do

We support the work of War Child UK to strengthen access to education inside Iraq. Attacks on schools are commonplace - in 2017 alone more than 150 schools were either damaged or destroyed. It's estimated that there are 2.6 million Iraqi children with no access to regular education - many of whom are displaying signs of conflict-related trauma.

We also work to strengthen child protection structures. We work closely with families and communities, raising awareness of particular needs and dangers for children.