Most poor children are not receiving any form of Government assistance, and even as the fighting has subsided, 80 per cent of all children experience violence – either at home or in school.
While 92 per cent of children are enrolled in primary school, just over half of those from poorer backgrounds complete their education. The gap widens in upper secondary school, where less than a quarter of poor children graduate, compared to three quarters of children from wealthier backgrounds.
Children’s education needs in Iraq are vast.
Half of the country’s public schools need to be rehabilitated, while one-in-three juggle multiple shifts, squeezing children’s learning time.
The five governorates with the lowest school enrollment and attendance rates are concentrated in the country’s poorest southern governorates, and the two that have borne the brunt of the last few years’ violence, Anbar and Ninawa.
Regular school attendance regularly is essential for the more than one million children who require psychosocial support to cope with the invisible wounds of war.
On a more positive note, Iraq has made progress on health, including maintaining high levels of assisted births and reducing newborn mortality. Babies who die in their first month of life dropped from 20 deaths per 1000 live births to 14 since the 2011survey was conducted.