BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The Government of Iraq and UNICEF todaylaunched the results of the most comprehensive survey on the situation ofchildren and women in Iraq.
It found that 32 per cent of children under 18years of age are deprived of many basic services and rights.
“This survey provides extensive data on the situation of childrenand women in Iraq,” said Dr.
Ali Yousif Al-Shukri, Iraq’s Minister of Planning."With these findings, we clearly see where we need to focus our investmentin the new development plan to further improve the well-being of Iraqichildren, who, representing half of Iraq's population today, represent Iraq'sfuture tomorrow.”
A key finding of the survey is that major disparities exist betweenIraq's 16.6 million children under 18 years of age over their access to healthcare and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, protection, shelter andinformation services.
Using an innovative methodology to determine issues each childexperiences in different stages of life, 10 per cent of Iraq’s children – 1.7million - were found to have access to all basic services and rights, while 32per cent – 5.3 million – were found to be deprived of several at the same time.
“Not only do we now know that there are 5.3 million childrendeprived of many services but we know exactly which services they are,” saidIraqi Deputy Minister of Planning and Head of Iraq’s Central StatisticsOrganization, Dr.
“We can make a dramatic improvement in nearlyall aspects of children’s well-being, and thus children's lives, by ensuringthey benefit from policies that provide access to a comprehensive package ofservices they currently need.”
Other findings include: 99 per cent of children are currentlyregistered at birth; the mortality rate of children dying in the first year oflife is 32 deaths for every 1,000 live births, which translates into around35,000 infant deaths every year; one in four children have stunted physical andintellectual development due to under-nutrition; while about nine out of 10children enroll in and attend primary school, only four complete primary schoolon time; and 1 in 3 children – 3.3 million – are subjected to severe violentdiscipline methods.
“With this clear evidence on where progress for Iraqi children canbe made, UNICEF looks forward to supporting the Government to develop nationalsocial policies, plans and interventions that concretely meet the needs of allof Iraq’s children, especially the 5.3 million most deprived and marginalized,”said Dr.
Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq.
“In line with international commitments and accountabilities, ourambitious goal going forward is for an Iraq that is fit for all children.”
The survey – the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 - wasdeveloped over the past three years and is the fourth such survey in Iraq withprevious rounds completed in 2006, 2000 and 1996.
More than 800 people from theGovernment of Iraq's Central Statistics Organization and the Kurdistan Region'sStatistics Office interviewed 55,000 women from around 36,000 households in allof Iraq’s 118 districts.
UNICEF provided technical support to ensure the highest qualitysurvey results, including the development of the methodology that enabled adeeper understanding of children’s disparities and deprivations across Iraq.