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Iraq: Life Expectancy

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of levels of (a) infant mortality, (b) maternal mortality and (c) life expectancy in Iraq; what such levels were in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (166059)

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Iraq remains on the list of the 60 countries in the world with the highest infant, under-five and maternal mortality rates. The latest joint UNICEF—Government of Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey was published in March 2006. It estimated an infant mortality rate at 35 per 1,000 live births. The under-five mortality rate was estimated at 41 per 1,000 live births. According to a 2004 Iraq Living Conditions Survey (ILCS), the maternal mortality rate was 192 per 100,000 live births. There are no fully reliable or up-to-date figures on life expectancy in Iraq.

The Government of Iraq has primary responsibility for ensuring the welfare of its own citizens, including children. However, the UN, led by UNICEF, continues to support the Iraqi Government to improve nutrition rates in Iraq through infant feeding campaigns, the provision of medical supplies and other support. DFID is supporting humanitarian agencies providing emergency relief, including food assistance, to children and other vulnerable groups. Since 2003, DFID has committed over £130 million in humanitarian assistance, of which £15 million has been for this year alone.