Help Save Children in Iraq

The Republic of Iraq is located in an area once home to the some of the earliest known civilizations. Tragically, it now ranks as one of the world’s worst places to be a child, where millions of vulnerable children are growing up in high-intensity conflict zones.

Decades of conflict and widespread violence have threatened millions of lives. Iraq’s economy has been shattered and its infrastructure is in ruins, even though it has the world’s second-largest reserves of oil. 

An unprecedented 3 million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, about half of whom are children. Nearly 7 million are now in need of humanitarian assistance. There are also hundreds of thousands of refugees in Iraq from neighboring countries, the majority escaping violence in Syria

As always, children are the ones who suffer most – facing continued violence, forced displacement and family separation, with limited access to essential health, education and protection services. For the children of Iraq, childhood itself is at grave risk. 

Challenges for Children in Iraq

Conflict and its consequences are having devastating effects Iraq’s children. In addition to the challenges below, half of Iraq’s schools have been damaged or destroyed. Children are at high risk of child labor/trafficking, child marriage and recruitment as child soldiers. Girls lack opportunities and suffer widespread gender-based violence. Children in Iraq desperately need your help.

  • 1 child in 37 dies before their 5th birthday – 5 times that of the U.S.
  • 21% of children are not in school
  • 1 girl in 14 (ages 15-19) gives birth
  • 23% of people live in poverty
  • 6% of people have been forced to flee conflict
  • 1 child in 143 is violently killed

Note: Some data is unavailable/unreliable, so results are likely significantly

Map of Iraq

Our Results for Children in Iraq

At Save the Children, we do whatever it takes to reach the world’s most vulnerable children. Thanks to supporters like you, we delivered lifesaving humanitarian aid and other essential services to over 337,000 children in Iraq last year. 
Fourteen-year-old Sulaima stands outside her family’s refugee tent, wearing a blue head scarf and red, flowered shirt – her arm in a cast, with pins.

Sulaima,* age 14, has seen and suffered more than any child should – from fleeing for her life, to family separation and torture. Thanks to you, she’s receiving essential aid and education in a camp for displaced Iraqis. *Child’s name changed for protection.

  • 268,000 children healthy and nourished
  • 58,000 children educated and empowered
  • 22,000 children protected from harm
  • 9,000 children lifted from poverty
  • 337,000 children aided in crisis

Our Work for Children in Iraq

Thanks to you, we’re a leading on-the-ground charity in Iraq, as we have been since 1991, responding to the immediate and long-term needs of children and families affected by conflict, violence and displacement. This includes aiding internally displaced people, communities, returnees and refugees.

In fact, Save the Children leads the education and protection program and advocacy strategies among humanitarian aid agencies working in Iraq.

We’re addressing the physical and psychological needs of children, in addition to education and protection. We’re distributing essentials, providing protected spaces, educating children, providing family cash assistance and advocating for children’s rights. And we won’t stop until Iraq’s children have what every child deserves – the chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Here are some recent examples of our work:

  • We’re helping improve lifesaving water supply, hygiene and sanitation systems in homes and schools, benefitting hundreds of thousands of children and families
  • We’re providing early childhood care and development, training teachers, supporting at-risk children and increasing community involvement for Syrian children growing up in Iraqi refugee camps
  • We’re providing safe, inclusive learning environments for refugee children, in both formal and non-formal settings
  • Through our Healing and Education through the Arts (HEART) program, we’re bringing the proven power of artistic expression to refugee children dealing with severe, chronic stress
  • We’re training teachers and parents on child rights, the importance of education, positive discipline and gender equality
  • As global leaders in family reunification, we’re reuniting children separated from their families and helping foster orphans
  • We’re providing child psychosocial support, with a 70% success rate, and building parenting skills and knowledge

How to Help Children in Iraq

You can create change that lasts a lifetime for children in Iraq – in so many ways. 

Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in Iraq and around the world grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Join Team Tomorrow
Join Team Tomorrow and your monthly donation will go toward addressing the needs of children affected by today’s most urgent issues. 

Browse the Gift Catalog
Give a meaningful gift that will help transform children’s lives and futures in Iraq and beyond. There’s something for everyone!

Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications, including our Global Childhood Report 2020,  Stop the War on Children 2020 and A Catalog of Common Approaches 2020. Other sources include CIA World Factbook and UNHCR.

Photo: Ahmad Baroud I /Save the Children.


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