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Iraq

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department gives to orphans in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. (95323)

Although there are no reliable statistics for the number of orphans in the country, USAID report that there are 5,000 orphans in Baghdad alone.

DFID support to orphans has been through our Civil Society Service Fund (CSF), worth £5 million over two years, which focuses on strengthening the capacity of Iraqi civil society organisations to better address the needs of poor and vulnerable groups, especially women and young people. We have, for example, funded a project which provides support to widow-headed households and orphans in central Iraq.

In addition, DFID has made a £30 million contribution to the United Nations trust fund, part of which supports the activities carried out by UNICEF to help children and vulnerable groups including orphans. Examples of UNICEFs work in Iraq include:

Supporting the Iraqi Ministry of Health to carry out measles/mumps/rubella and polio campaigns, this has reached 95 per cent. of targeted children and ensures that Iraq’s polio-free status is maintained.

In collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF continues to implement the Targeted Nutrition Programme, with operates in 36 districts (population 7.2 million) with high levels of malnutrition and poverty.

UNICEF supports the promotion of rights and participation of children, with efforts to build and strengthen a protective environment for children through community-based strategic approaches.

UNICEF funds effective mine risk education programmes.

Further information on DFID’s Iraq programme can be found at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/countries/asia/iraq.asp