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UN seeks $17 million for children's health in post-IS Iraq

Less than 10% of health facilities in Nineveh governorate are functioning at full capacity [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 February, 2018

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UNICEF says next week's reconstruction conference for Iraq in Kuwait will be 'a unique opportunity to put children at the heart' of the process.

The United Nations launched an appeal for $17 million on Wednesday to rebuild essential health facilities for children in Iraq after a devastating three-year battle to expel the Islamic State group.

The UN children's fund, UNICEF, said next week's reconstruction conference for Iraq to be staged in Kuwait, with Baghdad estimating the overall cost at $100 billion, would be "a unique opportunity... to put children at the heart" of the process.

"The state of Iraq’s healthcare system is alarming," Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Iraq, said in a statement after a visit to the northern city of Mosul which was recaptured last July.

"For pregnant women, newborn babies, and children, preventable and treatable conditions can quickly escalate into a matter of life and death," he said.

Appealing for $17 million to help rebuild health facilities in Iraq, UNICEF said 750,000 children in the Mosul region, the worst affected in the battle against IS, were "struggling to access basic health services".

"While violence has subsided, less than 10 percent of health facilities in Nineveh governorate (of which Mosul is the capital) are functioning at full capacity. Those that are operational are stretched to breaking point," it said.

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