- One in every four children in Iraq lives in poverty
- Half the schools in the country require repair
- Over three million children had their education interrupted
- There have been 150 attacks on education facilities since 2014
The United Nations children’s agency says one in every four children in is in poverty in Iraq, which seeks urgent international assistance to help it reconstruct after a four-year-long war against ISIS.
The UNICEF revealed the information in a statement on Sunday, adding that half of Iraq's schools need repairs and over three million children had their education interrupted.
"Children are Iraq's future," said Geert Cappelaere, the UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
ISIS launched its campaign of terror and bloodshed against the Arab country in 2014. It overran vast swathes of territory in lightning attacks.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the group last December after the army and its allies retook the last urban areas in western Iraq from the Takfiri militants.
Baghdad is demanding $100 billion in foreign investment in transport, energy, and agriculture as part of a plan to rebuild parts of the country and revive the economy.
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Kuwait will host an international conference on the country's reconstruction on Feb. 12-14.
"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," the UNICEF official noted.
On Thursday, U.S. and Western officials said Washington had no plan to allocate money to the reconstruction process at the conference.
Former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Jeremy Konyndyk, said by not contributing to reconstruction, especially in combat-ravaged areas, the administration of Donald Trump could help set the stage for new militancy.
The U.N. has verified 150 attacks on education facilities and 50 attacks on health centers and personnel since 2014, the UNICEF statement noted.
The Associated Press also revealed recently that Washington was drawing down its Iraq-based troops now that ISIS has been defeated, relocating them to Afghanistan, where the group is expanding operations.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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