The Plight of Orphans In Iraq
An estimated 800,000 children in Iraq have been orphaned over ten years of war. More than 1 million have been displaced by ISIS. According to the Iraqi Children's Foundation, thousands work on the streets or in other unsafe places. Too many children are vulnerable to recruitment and exploitation by criminals or terrorists, as well as physical abuse and human trafficking. They face illiteracy, poverty, malnutrition, and the profound effects of trauma and loss.
The BBC reported, "Beyond the individual tragedies, the sheer number of Iraqi orphans has created a social crisis in a country that has less than 200 social workers and psychiatrists put together, for a population of 30 million people. It has no child protection laws."
A 2011 report by Unicef outlined a number of the plagues facing the children including:
- Poverty: 23% of Iraq’s population live on less than US $2.2/day
- Infant Mortality: Under 5 Child Mortality (very high mortality in 1 st month and year of life) - Immunization coverage (measles insufficient). 37 Under-5 children die out of every 1000 live births 32 of those die before reaching her/his 1 st birthday Around 35,000 infants die every year (based on the estimate of 1.1million births)
- Growth: 1 in 4 children experience stunted growth (the irreversible outcome of chronic under-nutrition in the first years of life)
This documentary on one man's efforts to take care of over 30 orphans will touch your heart as well.