UNICEF launches back-to-school campaign to help millions missing out on education

Several weeks before of the start of the new school year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with the Iraqi Ministry of Education, launched a nationwide ‘Back to School’ campaign in 10 governorates. 

Some 3.5 million school-aged Iraqi children are missing out on education, which means they are at increased risk of early marriage, child labour and recruitment into armed groups. About one million school-aged children are internally displaced, and 70 per cent of them have lost an entire year of school. 

Centers support to survivors of sexual violence in Iraq

Three newly opened community centers in Iraq’s Kurdistan region offer support to Yezidie women that have survived abduction and sexual assault by ISIS. 

In the summer of 2014, the attack by ISIS on northern Iraq had a devastating impact on civilians, and especially on religious minorities. 

ISIS militia rampaged through villages demanding people either convert to Islam, pay a tax or they would be killed. 

‘Mini-Iraq’ Mosul reflects the diversity and challenges of the nation

Mosul and the Nineveh Plains are a “mini-Iraq,” encompassing the diversity of the country and the challenges of uniting the many religious and ethnic groups living side-by-side, was the take away from a conference in Erbil on Thursday, bringing together Kurdish and Iraqi officials to discuss the liberation of Mosul and what to do in its aftermath. 

A “mini-Iraq” is how Hassan Shibeb al-Sabawi, member of the Iraqi defense ministry and a consultant on religious affairs, referred to the Nineveh Plains due to the diversity it encompasses. Also like Iraq, it is fragmented with different religious and ethnic groups in conflict with each other. “We are going to have to try to harmonize the region,” he said. 

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

The UN said Thursday it expected at least 700,000 people in Iraq's second city of Mosul would need assistance once an expected offensive on the Islamic State group stronghold begins. "Mosul has the potential to be one the largest... disasters of many, many years," warned Bruno Geddo, the United Nation's refugee agency's main representative in Iraq. 

Iraq opens new antiquities museum in Basra

Iraq opened a new antiquities museum in the southern city of Basra on Tuesday with pottery, coins and other artifacts dating back more than 2,000 years. Only one hall was opened due to a shortage of funds, Qahtan al-Obaid, the museum director, told The Associated Press by telephone. 

It will showcase artifacts dating back to 400 B.C. that tell the history of the oil-rich city on the Persian Gulf. He said there are plans to open other wings that would exhibit Babylonian, Assyrian and Sumerian artifacts from across Iraq dating back to 3,300 B.C.