UNICEF appeals for $17 million to rebuild Iraq health facilities

FILE PHOTO: A UNICEF logo is pictured outside their offices in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF appealed on Wednesday for $17 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.

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 organizations 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