There are approximately 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 6.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance due to the protracted crisis in Iraq. Of these, 3.3 million children and adolescents face insecurity, lack of social cohesion and livelihoods, and destroyed or damaged housing, hampering their ability to return to their homes. Additionally, the threat of violence from terrorist and militant groups has deterred IDPs and refugees from returning to their homes and is affecting agricultural areas in 11 of 18 governorates in Iraq.

Adolescents’ transition into adulthood is being blocked by a variety of external factors, such as limited employment livelihoods opportunities, as well as social norms. Adolescents largely have limited access to opportunities for civic, social or economic engagement, this is particularly the case for girls, whose mobility outside the household is constrained and they have reported feelings of disengagement and isolation.

Iraq Map


The Adolescent Kit is being used to improve life skills development in Iraq. UNICEF’s implementing partners and project staff currently work with adolescent boys and girls (10-24) among IDP, host, and refugee communities, supporting psychosocial health and life skills development through artwork, recreational activities, and sports in camps and urban areas in Iraq.

The Kit also supports adolescents’ engagement in their communities and enhances young peoples’ initiatives. To date, UNICEF has reached 5,000 adolescents (2,500 girls and 2,500 boys) in IDP, refugee and host communities, in both camp and non-camp contexts.

UNICEF has, with help from implementing partners, formed and trained an adolescent volunteer network/committee to promote young people’s meaningful engagement in their communities. Adolescent kits used by volunteers support outreach activities and some recreational activities.

As the life skills programme expands, there is a need for additional quantities of the Kits, as well as additional capacity building on how to effectively use it and how to assess learning outcomes through consistent monitoring. There is additional need to provide training to implementing partners (teachers, youth facilitators, etc.) With Arabic translations of the Kit now available, the Kit can have a wider reach across education and child protection programmes, i.e. in schools, children’s clubs, among vulnerable adolescent groups, etc.