NEW YORK, 14th July, 2016 (WAM) — The Government of Japan has offered critical assistance to UNICEF in the form of a US$7 million dollar grant. The grant has supported provision of safe drinking water, sanitation and education facilities for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq. The funds will be used within a 12-month time frame to supply up to 40 pre-fabricated schools as well as to increase water and sanitation services and improve child protection and health services.

“The Government of Japan’s generous donation could not have come at a more critical time. Iraq has become one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child, and the situation in Iraq will get much worse before it gets better. This funding to UNICEF will allow for the continuation and expansion of critical humanitarian programmes, and help ensure children survive today and have the opportunity to grow into productive adults of tomorrow,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Iraq Country Representative.

Over 10 million people, nearly half of whom are children, need immediate humanitarian assistance. This number is expected to increase over the next year as the conflict escalates and more families are displaced.

UNICEF requires approximately US$170 million to continue its emergency and regular programming just for 2016.