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6 September 2021 - News

Save the Children rolls out new Education project supporting 200,000 conflict-affected children in Iraq

Up to 60% of children supported will be girls, 10% children with disabilities.

Erbil Iraq - 06 September 2021: A new programme launched by Save the Children in Iraq will help up to 200,000 children across Iraq to receive quality education in 250 schools and learning centres, the child rights organisation has announced.

The Multi-Year Resilience Programme will be implemented in partnership with the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Region, and national and international experienced education actors. The programme will target conflict-affected and marginalised girls and boys, aged between 3-18 years. It will promote access to continuous, inclusive and gender-responsive education services for boys and girls in crisis-affected communities. The aim is to restore a sense of safety, protection, and social and emotional well-being in schools and learning centres especially for children who had spent years without education.

As part of the programme, Save the Children will receive a seed funding of US$ 12.5 million from Education Cannot Wait (ECW) to support 36,500 children from 250 schools and learning centres located in the areas of Anbar, Sulaymaniyah, Diyala, Duhok, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din, with the objective to increase reach to 200,000 children with the extended fund. The programme aims to raise a further US$ 35.5 million to support the rights of the children in Iraq

Ishtiaq Mannan, Country Director Save the Children in Iraq, said

“Children of Iraq deserve a better future and we are looking forward to improving their access to quality learning opportunities. This is not just a project responding to children needs but it is an extended intervention aiming at long-lasting change for the Education system in Iraq. Working with Ministries of Education and other partners, we aspire to mark a new milestone in Education by improving its quality and provide better access for girls and children with disabilities.”

The many years of conflict in and around Iraq have uprooted millions of people[1]. Conflict and displacement have eroded social cohesion, disrupted access to basic services, destroyed livelihoods and led to increased protection risks. A drop in the price of oil and the impact of COVID-19 – of which rates of infection are increasing rapidly – combine to limit the government’s capacity to provide essential services[2]

The education sector in Iraq has been struggling with multiple resourcing gaps and challenges impacting the access of Iraqi children to quality education. Early Childhood Education (ECE) enrolment is alarmingly low at 10%, and dropout rates have remained significant with 20.1% of girls and 16.5% of boys dropping out of primary education before completion[3]. MYRP aims to address some of these gaps and challenges and ensure better educational opportunities for thousands of children, especially those in urgent need of it.

In Iraq, there are currently 1,191,470 internally displaced people, and 4,884,612 Returnees[4]. In addition to 247,044 Syrian Refugees[5]. Women and girls in Iraq continue to be deprived of basic rights and resources and are exposed to high rates of domestic and sexual violence. It is estimated that 1.3 million women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence, of whom 61% are in areas of return and 38% in areas of displacement[6]


[1] (UNOCHA-Iraq)

[2] (World Bank- Iraq)

[3] (UNICEF 2014)

[4] (IOM DTM as of July 31st 2021)

[5] (UNHCR Iraq as of July 31st 2021)

[6] (Iraq-HNO 2020)