80 percent of Iraqi kids have experienced violence at home or in school: UNICEF report

Press TV – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says 80 percent of children in Iraq are subjected to violence either at home or in school, stating that the majority of the minors are not receiving any assistance from the Baghdad government.

The world body, in a report published on Monday, pointed to conflict and inequality as the continuing feature of Iraqi children.

“A majority of Iraq’s poor children don’t receive any form of government assistance, affecting their chances to complete their education,” the report noted.

UNICEF went on say that just over half of children from poorer backgrounds complete their primary education, while the gap widens in upper secondary school, where less than a quarter of poor children graduate.

The UN organization later described the education needs of Iraqi children as “vast.”

“Half of all public schools in the country require rehabilitation and one in three schools run multiple shifts, squeezing children’s learning time,” it said.

UNICEF then called on the Iraqi authorities “to invest in services that directly benefit those children affected by conflict and poverty, and to work towards putting an end to all forms of violence against children.”

“The data is the clearest indication yet that the most vulnerable children in Iraq are the ones that are most likely to fall behind,” UNICEF Representative in Iraq Peter Hawkins said.

He added, “The hard-won gains to end the conflict in Iraq and transition to a stable future could be lost without additional investments for all children to reach their full potential.”

Iraq has been suffering shortages in school buildings as a result of decades of war and ensuing insecurity.

The crisis has aggravated over the past few years after a large number of schools were destroyed during clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh Takfiri terrorists between 2014 and 2017.

Iraq will need some 20,000 schools by 2022, according to the country’s education ministry.

According to official figures released by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in October, there are 15,150,428 Iraqis under the age of 15. They represent 45 percent of the country’s total population.