|BAGHDAD, Feb.12,2018-- One in four Iraqi children live in poverty as a result of the war against the militant group Islamic State (IS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Sunday.
"Violence may have subsided in Iraq, but it has upended the lives of millions across the country, leaving one in four children in poverty and pushing families to extreme measures to survive," the UNICEF said in a statement.
The UNICEF urged the international community to contribute to the reconstruction of the country's infrastructure and the services for Iraqi children.
The statement came a day before an international conference will be held in Kuwait on Feb. 12-14, for donor countries and organizations which are expected to announce financial contributions for Iraq's reconstruction.
It added that without investment to restore the basic infrastructure and services, the hard-won gains to end conflict in Iraq are "in jeopardy."
The UN has verified 150 attacks on education facilities and 50 on health centers and medical personnel. Half of the schools across Iraq need repairs and more than 3 million children have had their education interrupted, according to the statement.
Many of the displaced families also found their homes in need of major repairs. In Mosul alone, over 21,400 homes have been damaged or destroyed.
Families have to live in the ruins of their houses, and the poverty pushed some families to take their children out of schools and force them to work, the statement said.
"Recovery and reconstruction should be prioritized, adequately supported and quickly implemented, with special attention to vulnerable people, including children," it said.
The UNICEF and UN-Habitat assessment appealed for "firm commitments to restore basic infrastructure and services for children, including in education, psycho-social support, health and water, sanitation and hygiene, and housing."
In earlier reports, the International Organization for Migration said that by the end of 2017, more than 3.2 million Iraqis had returned home, but 2.6 million remain displaced.
Nearly one third are reported to have returned to houses that have been significantly or completely damaged, it said.
On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas seized by the extremist group since 2014.