Iraq: All Our Children project details

Originally published
Improving the living conditions of vulnerable children
Partner Agency: Enfants du Monde - Droits de l'Homme (EMDH)

Amount: $15,000.00 USD


To improve the living conditions of vulnerable children facing war and its aftermath in Iraq.


To provide for basic needs of children affected by the war, offer rudimentary assistance to children living in institutions, and identify and register children separated from their families with the aim of reunion with their families as quickly as possible.

General Description:

This project is part of a global approach to care for children in difficulties during times of conflict.

The first part is on going. Food and essential relief items have been stocked in the premises of the NGO "Architect for People in Need" (APN) and in the parish St Elia located in "New Baghdad" one of the poorest areas of Baghdad. Our staff in partnership with APN staff and volunteers of the parish St Elia have already distributed 50 % of the items stocked to vulnerable children living in New Baghdad area.

This project extends these distributions to provide quick assistance to street children, separated children of Baghdad and all vulnerable children living in the boarding section of Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Secondly, EMDH is a participating member of the United Nation's working group concerned with the protection of children. Their approach is twofold: children are being provided with nutrition and items of prime necessity. At the same time they are being identified with the help of a questionnaire developed by the International Red Crescent (ICRC) allowing for a rapid reunion with their families whenever possible. Our actions are also based on the guidelines to be applied with children separated from their families, which were established by UNICEF in collaboration with ICRC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children, and World Vision.

Emergency Assistance to health clinics

Partner Agency: Architects for People in Need

Amount: $60,000.00 USD


To provide medicines and medical equipment in four primary health clinics in Saddam City (outskirts of Baghdad) and New Baghdad and medical and logistical assistance to the physicians in these centers and clinics.


To respond to the basic needs of Baghdad street children and children isolated from their families because of the war and its immediate aftermath. This is rudimentary assistance to children living in institutions, such as orphanages, and those living in the most vulnerable, unsupplied and highly under-privileged areas of Baghdad.

General Description:

This project will supply medicines and other basic medical services to four primary health care centers and clinics in Saddam City and New Baghdad. On average these four clinics combined treat 1,850 patients daily, 70-80 percent are children. From 10 April until 20 April this year they treated 20,350 patients.

The treatments include a long list of maladies among children including: D & V (diarrhoea and vomiting), bloody diarrhea (bacillary dysentery, amebic dysentery), Typhoid Fever, de-hydration, chest infection/respiratory tract infections, febrile convulsion, epilepsy, iron deficiency anaemia, skin diseases (scabies, chicken pox, measles, burns by benzine or gas). Illnesses among adults would include, respiratory tract infections ( T.B.); diarrhea, injuries (fractures, burns, bullet injuries); chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, hypothyroidism); all types of head ace(tension head ace, psychological head ace); surgical cases including, hernia, goiter, gynecology; dysfunctional uterine bleeding.

Basic drugs remain available on the local market. There are shortages of drugs for chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, hypothyroidism).

Emergency assistance to pediatric hospitals project

Partner agency: Premiere Urgence

Amount: $49,760.00 USD


To provide basic help (protection, supplies and basic repairs) to lessen the overall pressures and strains under which pediatric hospitals are placed in the current circumstances. To maintain the emergency and surgery units in a physical state of readiness to be able to provide emergency and health services to the sick, wounded and injured children and mothers.


To provide a total of 4 public pediatric hospitals in Baghdad with basic supplies and services (one-time intervention) containing: protection for the hospitals buildings to avoid collateral damage from the bombings (sandbags, plastic foil for the windows, protection fuel and oxygen bottles etc.), basic supplies (medicine, wheelchairs for transportation of the patients, bedding kits and blankets) and basic repairs on the water supply and electricity systems.

General Description:

Baghdad is the location of the Premiere Urgence proposed response. In particular four public pediatric hospitals that are in great risk to be hard hit by the emergency will receive immediate attention. Premiere Urgence is well informed about the situation in the hospitals of Baghdad through reports received from the Ministry of Health and though the assessments done by the Premiere Urgence staff present in the field. The locations for the proposed response are Alawiya Pediatric Hospital (125 beds), Alawiya Maternity (332 beds), Al Iskam Pediatric Hospital (333 beds) and Kadimiya Pediatric Hospital (135 beds).

These hospitals were built to accommodate 925 patients. Since the beginning of the conflict the number of admissions and consultation has increased and is expected to continue increasing as the confrontations continue in Baghdad.

With the approach of allied forces the situation in Baghdad will become more complex and accessibility more difficult if more massive bombardments and ground attacks start on the city. In this case, the Premiere Urgence Baghdad office has received assurances from the International Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and from the Ministry of Health (MOH) that they would facilitate the transport and distribution of packages to the various destinations.

The implementation is expected to take place immediately upon receipt of the first installment of the assistance. The period of implementation will span 4 weeks from starting. Needed information on the four hospitals at risk to be most affected by the conflict is already at hand.

The four beneficiary pediatric hospitals have been selected according to a request, to the information provided by the Ministry of Health and based on the assessments done by the staff present in the field. The Baghdad pediatric hospitals will receive protection materials to be used to try to avoid further collateral damage to the buildings, basic supplies for the hospitals activities and basic repairs.

Hygiene supplies project

Partner agency: CARE International Iraq

Amount: $47,801 USD, $71,366 CDN


The overall goal of the project is to reduce the incidence of malnutrition among children of Iraq through reducing the high incidence of diarrhea.


To improve the hygiene practices of 14,688 beneficiaries of UNICEF's nutrition programme through provision of hygiene awareness information to tackle poor behaviours and provide the necessary materials to ensure good hygiene: toilet soap, detergent, etc.

To enable UNICEF Nutrition Rehabilitation Units, Primary Health CARE and, Primary Health CARE and Community Child Care Units to maintain hygienic conditions in the ward for malnourished children, the toilets and the food storage area. Provision of cleaning materials.

General Description

This project is an important complementary component for UNICEF's nutrition programme in Iraq working to address malnutrition amongst infants, children, lactating and pregnant women.

Malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases are recognized by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to be two of the main causes of the high mortality rate of Iraqi children under 5 years old (U5MR) - currently 131 children per 1000 die before they are five years old. The prevalence of diarrhoeal disease in under-five children has increased from an average of 4 bouts per year in 1990 to almost 15 in 1999, mainly as a result of the lower quantity and quality of water supply in the country.

It is estimated that there are 400,000 children with malnutrition, of which 80,000 suffer from severe malnutrition and require treatment in malnutrition wards in paediatric and district hospitals.

UNICEF has established a large network of 2,800-3,000 centers addressing the malnutrition problem. Children are first screened at Community Child Care Units by 14,000 volunteers and those identified with malnutrition are referred to the nearest of 560 Primary Healthcare Centres. These provide high protein biscuits (prepared to a special formula appropriate for Iraqi conditions) to children with moderate malnutrition and pregnant and lactating mothers. Children with severe malnutrition are referred to nutrition rehabilitation wards established in 68 pediatric and district hospitals; these provide a total of 816 beds. Here they are given appropriate care - sometimes intravenous feeding and, before discharge, therapeutic milk under supervision.

In breaking the cycle of malnutrition and diarrhea, it is not only important to provide the correct treatment and foodstuffs but equally important to ensure good hygiene practices. The UNICEF nutrition programme does not include a hygiene component and UNICEF are keen for CARE to work in cooperation to provide this. CARE and UNICEF advisors have already collaborated with the Ministry of Health personnel in the development of health education materials which have been officially approved for use in the government's Primary Health Centres and, in particular, their Mother and Child Health units.

A major military conflict will almost certainly be a major negative impact on electricity supplies and hence water supply (both quantity and quality). This is one of the key risk factors for children in an emergency. If correct hygiene practices can be established before or during an emergency, it is hoped that this will minimize the spread of avoidable diahrroeal disease and associated rises in the incident rates of dehydration, malnutrition and under 5 mortality.