NEW YORK (Dispatches) – One in four Iraqi children are in poverty and four million are in need of assistance as a result of the country's war with Daesh terrorists, the United Nation's children agency said on Sunday.
The UN has verified 150 attacks on education facilities and 50 attacks on health centers and personnel since 2014, UNICEF said in a statement. Half of Iraq's schools need repairs and over 3 million children have had their education interrupted, it said.
Iraq declared victory over Daesh in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the terrorists in 2014 and 2015, and is seeking $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.
"Children are Iraq's future," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
However, U.S. and Western officials said on Thursday that 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 U.S. President Donald Trump could help set the stage for new militancy.
The UN 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 Daesh has been defeated, relocating them to Afghanistan, where the group is expanding operations.
Displaced Iraqi children are seen at the Amriyat al Fallujah camp in Anbar Province, Iraq January 3, 2018.