February 7, 2018 / 10:32 AM / 3 months ago

UNICEF appeals for $17 million to rebuild Iraq health facilities

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF appealed on Wednesday for $17 million (£12.2 million) to help rebuild Iraq’s health facilities, ahead of an international conference to support the country’s reconstruction due to convene next week in Kuwait.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of the United Nations Childrens Fund, UNICEF, is pictured at their German headquarters in Cologne February 20, 2008. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

The UN agency said up to 750,000 children are still lacking access to health services in the region of Mosul, seven months after Islamic State militants were driven out from the city.

Less than 10 percent of health facilities in Mosul’s Nineveh province are functioning, and are “stretched to breaking point”, UNICEF said in a statement, adding that rehabilitation of clinics and hospitals is key to allowing displaced people to return home.

Humanitarian organisations say about 2.6 million people are still displaced, two months after Iraq declared victory over the militants who had taken over nearly a third of the country in 2014 and 2015.The Iraqi government said it needs at least $100 billion in assistance to rebuild homes, businesses and infrastructure including oil and telecommunications facilities.

Kuwait will host an international conference on Iraq’s reconstruction on Feb 12-14.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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