Results of Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health Survey

Ministry of Planning, UNFPA launch results of the second Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health Survey

The Ministry of Planning, the Central Statistical Organization and UNFPA have launched the results of the second Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health (IWISH) survey, conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning at the Kurdistan Regional Government - Kurdistan Region Statistics Office and with funding from Sweden.

The survey addresses women issues throughout all ages and covers various sectors such as women empowerment, health, reproductive health, violence against women and other relevant social and health dimensions to establish a comprehensive database.

It offers integrated data that identifies the progress made and the gaps in the economic, social, and health situation of women in Iraq in comparison to the results of IWISH I, conducted ten years ago.

Speaking at the event, Dr Maher Johan, Deputy Minister of Planning, emphasised the importance of data and statistics in programming and policy development, reiteration the Ministry's determination to conduct the Population & Housing Census before the end of 2022:

"Evidence-based policies are the only way for us to achieve our commitments to the International Conference on Population & Development in Nairobi and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals".

Dr Rita Columbia, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, commented on the survey, saying:

"UNFPA will continue to provide technical assistance in collecting, analysing and using reliable population data to ensure girls and women's rights and needs are a priority for the Government of Iraq. The findings will enable the development of people-centred policies enabling women to have equal opportunities and exercise their reproductive rights".

Highlights of the IWISH results can be found through this link and presentation in Arabic.

(Source: UN)

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A Christmas Gift for Iraqi Children

A message from the Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF):

Dear friends of Iraqi children,

Need a holiday gift idea for family, friends, employees? Need to increase your year-end tax-deductible donations? We can help!

Make a gift in honor of someone special, and we will send you our two beautiful digital ICF Christmas cards, which you can share by email, or you can print out at home.

These cards are a special token for your gift, designed specially for ICF this year. Read more about our Christmas cards below, and please consider making a year-end contribution here:

Iraqi Children Foundation Special Christmas Cards for 2021:

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UniHouse to run Talented Iraqi Program for Eni

By John Lee.

Italian energy company Eni S.p.A has signed an agreement with UniHouse to execute the Talented Iraqi Program.

Under the scheme, high-caliber, talented Iraqi students will be placed in the UK to study for Bachelor of Medicine degrees.

UniHouse will provide a full range of services, including preparation, exams, orientation, and in-country academic support and consultancy to Eni for the successful execution of the project.

Since 2010, Eni has been part of the consortium developing the Zubair Reservoir in Southern Iraq.

(Source: UniHouse)

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Make a Difference for Iraqi Kids Today!

Dear ICF friends,

FIVE DAYS TO GO!

Our annual "In Their Shoes" 5K race weekend in Washington DC draws dignitaries, diplomats, veterans and business-people, families, and the media. This year we are going GLOBAL!

Run or walk from anywhere in the world, this September 18th. Create a team or set a personal challenge, and help us raise urgently-needed funds for Iraq's vulnerable children. You'll receive a limited edition ICF running gaiter (buff) and a digital certificate. So far, we have participants in 38 cities - will you help us make it 50??

Get ready. Join Us! Sign up now or forward this email to friends and family:

How it works:

  1. Sign up online via the RunSignup platform (link via button above), and create a fundraising page if desired.
  2. Run or walk on September 18th from anywhere in the world.
  3. Finishers receive a digital certificate and a custom ICF running buff (neck gaiter).

Share the registration list: https://runsignup.com/Race/DC/WashingtonDC/2021GLOBALINTHEIRSHOES5K

The symbolism of the ICF design is very special: sunshine symbolizing hope, growth reflected in the date palm leaf and fruit of Iraq, and water marking the Euphrates and Tigris rivers which represent the historic position of Iraq as the seat of civilization. Collect this year's limited edition orange gaiter!

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Global Solidarity Needed for Iraq’s Vulnerable Children

From Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra). Re-published with permission by Iraq Business News.

In this conversation with Liz McRae, Hussein Al-alak hears about the efforts which the Iraqi Children Foundation have been undertaking, during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Liz McRae is the Executive Director of the Iraqi Children Foundation.

Can you tell us about the Iraqi Children Foundation and why it was founded?

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) intervenes in the lives of orphans and street children who are vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation by criminals, traffickers and extremists. The organization was set up ten years ago by Americans who saw the need to help rebuild Iraq after so many years of conflict. More than 800,000 children were orphaned as a result of the Iraq War, and the ISIS occupation displaced another 1.3 million.

Our vision is that all children in Iraq have a voice, and are empowered to reach their full potential. All our programs have this goal in mind. We help vulnerable children through programs like "The Hope Buses"; we convert used city buses into colorful, child friendly classrooms. Each bus has two teachers and a social worker, and serves around 50 children with tutoring, nutrition, health care, social services, practical life lessons, community, and fun.

Another program is called "The Street Lawyers"; a team of lawyers who provide legal protection for children who are targeted by criminals and traffickers, abused by employers, or are facing other risks. They also assist children to get their papers so that they can go to school.

The ICF supports children who are vulnerable. Can you describe some of these vulnerabilities?

There are many vulnerable children in Iraq. In particular, we work with children who are orphaned (meaning, they have lost one or both parents), and children who are working to support their families.

Many children in Iraq are also vulnerable due to displacement caused by conflict. These children are vulnerable to abuse and can be targeted by criminals and extremists. More recently, COVID-19 adds an extra challenge for children and families, as it has done for people all over the world.

The ICF also supports children who are at risk of exploitation. As Iraq experiences many challenges, how does exploitation manifest itself?

For families experiencing poverty, displacement, or a lack of access to job opportunities, the possibility of exploitation is increased. Many children in Iraq have to work to support their families, especially when one or both parents have died. These children can be exploited by employers, and are easy targets for criminals and extremist organizations.

The risk of exploitation is also heightened by the fact that children working are often not attending school on a regular basis. Without access to education, it becomes harder to stay away from potentially exploitative situations.

Many countries have been under lockdown due to the Covid Pandemic, what have the ICF been doing during this time?

Many children in Iraq face incredible hardship every single day, often without access to proper nutrition, education, healthcare, and safety. COVID-19 adds new challenges for these children, and also exacerbates the existing issues.For children living in poor communities, social distancing is difficult (if not impossible) due to large numbers of people living in close confines, and there may be little or no access to hygiene supplies or PPE, food, work, school, and community members. The bottom line is: COVID-19 makes vulnerable children more vulnerable.

During this critical time, we are doing our best to help keep children as safe and healthy as possible. Teams have been distributing food and hygiene supplies to vulnerable children and families in multiple cities, and our Hope Bus staff have paid home visits to children from the Hope Buses to show them how to use PPE and practice good hygiene so that they can stay safe during COVID-19.

We continue to work with the teams on the ground in Iraq, who are doing their best to work safely and always with the best interests of the children in mind.

How can people within the international community, support the Iraqi Children Foundation and their work in Iraq? 

You can do a lot from home; you are not powerless to help the vulnerable children in Iraq. Here are some things you can do to help:

Follow and spread the word - follow us on social media to learn more about the challenges Iraqi Children are facing, to hear ICF news and progress, and share to spread the word so we can make a larger impact (Facebook/LinkedIn: Iraqi Children Foundation, Instagram/Twitter: @IraqiChildren)

Give what you can - every dollar matters, especially now. Donate any amount at our Global Giving page to help. Also, new monthly donors get a 100% match on their first month of giving.

Fundraise - help us fundraise; start your own mini-campaign using Global Giving or Facebook - it only takes 5 minutes! Email liz@iraqichildren.org to find out more, and we can help you set it up.

The post Global Solidarity Needed for Iraq's Vulnerable Children first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Dr. Rafid Aziz Joins Board of Iraqi Children Foundation

Dr. Rafid Aziz Joins Board of Directors of Iraqi Children Foundation

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Rafid Aziz (pictured), President of the United Iraqi Medical Association in the United Kingdom, to join the ICF Board of Directors.

Grant Felgenhauer, ICF Board Chairman, said:

"ICF has pledged in 2021 to expand services to meet the medical and disability needs of Iraqi orphans and vulnerable children. Having a medical professional of such distinction on our Board will help equip ICF to pursue that commitment. We are thrilled to have Dr. Aziz join our team."

ICF has provided occasional medical support to children in Iraq in recent years, such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, and clinical services. But the charity hopes to develop a more robust medical program. Dr. Aziz will be leading ICF's efforts to expand outreach and support to Iraqi orphans and vulnerable children with medical and disability needs.

Dr. Aziz, who went to medical school in Baghdad, Iraq, serves as President of the United Iraqi Medical Association (UIMA) for the UK and Ireland, an independent network that was established to look after the professional and social needs of the Iraqi healthcare community in the UK, as well as to support medical/nursing education and effective healthcare policy in Iraq. He is also the Medical Director, Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Lead, and a trainer at Hertz Urgent Care in the UK.

(Source: ICF)

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Italy, UNOPS to provide Services for Returnees in Sinjar

AICS and UNOPS Partner to Rehabilitate the Basic Services for Returnees in Sinjar, Iraq

The Italian Cooperation and UNOPS launched a new project to support the Government of Iraq in rehabilitating basic services to returnees in Sinjar.

The project will support the Government of Iraq in rehabilitating the basic water services for returnees in Sinjar district in Iraq, through a partnership with the Government of Italy.

The project will contribute to achieving the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Iraq: Post-conflict transition towards durable solutions by supporting access to basic services to increase the resilience of returnees in target locations.

Since 2018, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) office in Amman has also been responsible for implementing international cooperation initiatives in Iraq. "Our support has focused on the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) and neighbouring areas such as the Ninewa plains, which experienced high rates of return after the massive displacement of the resident population," said the Head of AICS Amman office Mr. Michele Morana.

"This project comes in line with the Italian Cooperation's aid priorities targeting the health and protection sectors in the Country, as it addresses immediate recovery and aims to improve accessibility, inclusiveness and quality of basic services for minorities and local communities".

"The Government of Italy fully supports the urgent need to rebuild Sinjar, through the restoration of basic services as key to incentivizing the return of still displaced people. Every effort should also be taken to reintegrate returnees within their communities and provide them with tangible support to rebuild their lives" said the Ambassador of Italy to Iraq Bruno Antonio Pasquino.

"Thanks to the support from the Italian Cooperation, UNOPS is able to lend a hand to the people returning to Sinjar District in Iraq. Access to water supplies is one of the many challenges faced by returnees and their families. The rehabilitation of basic services in the district will contribute to improving Sinjar water infrastructure and eventually improving people's lives." said Mr. Muhammad Usman Akram, the Director of UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman.

Through this project, the targeted populations will benefit from improved and rehabilitated basic water facilities. UNOPS will focus on the improvement of water services in Sinjar district. The main focus would be to rehabilitate damaged water facilities, such as potable and/or storm water pumps, generators, parts of water treatment units.

The intervention will also include innovative technologies, such as renewable and hybrid systems, where applicable, in target locations. It is envisaged that this project will support the Government in its efforts towards the realization of Agenda 2030 and more specifically contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); specifically, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being and SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

Sinjar is one of the four districts in Ninewa that presents a higher severity of needs, whereby the well-being, living standards, and ultimately resilience and recovery capacity of the local communities, as well as their social cohesion and safety, are all severely impacted as a result of unmet needs.

(Source: UN)

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$600m needed for 2021 Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Minister of Planning H.E. Dr. Khalid Batal Najim Abdullah, and the Humanitarian Coordinator Ms. Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, released the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to assist 1.5 million vulnerable people in Iraq.

H.E. Dr. Abdullah said:

"The HRP will complement the Government of Iraq's own initiatives to help the people of Iraq recover from the setbacks they have experienced in recent years.

"The Government of Iraq and the United Nations will continue to work in partnership to help all Iraqis achieve and maintain a dignified standard of living."

Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano commented:

"The people of Iraq should be commended for their resilience in the face of relentless hardships. COVID-19 added extra challenges for all of us in 2020.

"We are happy through the 2021 HRP to renew our commitment to assisting the most vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees in Iraq."

Iraq continues to face a complex humanitarian situation, despite the ongoing joint efforts of humanitarian partners, the Government of Iraq, and local authorities and communities to improve circumstances.

The post-conflict humanitarian situation in Iraq remains fragile, with approximately 1.3 million IDPs, and deepening socio-economic vulnerabilities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview found that 4.1 million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The 2021 HRP focuses on 1.5 million of the most vulnerable IDPs living in camps and in out-of-camp locations, as well as returnees, who continue to face significant humanitarian and protection needs.

This unified appeal represents the activities of 166 operational partners - national NGOs, international NGOs and UN agencies - involved in the humanitarian response in Iraq, in coordination with the efforts of the Government of Iraq. It seeks $607.2 million to carry out humanitarian programming across nine sectors.

In 2020, the humanitarian community was able to assist approximately 1.4 million people thanks to the efforts of partners and the generosity of donors.

(Source: UN)

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Iraq, Iran to launch Joint Investment Fund

By John Lee.

Iraq and Iran are to launch a fund to finance joint ventures between the two countries.

In his closing remarks to the Iran-Iraq Economic Conference on Wednesday, Iran's Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian said

"The proposal to establish a joint venture fund to support the private sector of the two countries was approved."

The conference also discussed plans to establish a branch of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iraq.

(Source: Iranian Ministry of Energy)

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