Amid insecurity and unexploded bombs UN readies school exams in Iraq
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are coordinating the efforts with the United-States-run Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Ministry of Education, the spokesperson for the UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Veronique Taveau, told a briefing in Baghdad. UNESCO has received a grant to reprint mathematics and science books and is planning to form a panel involving Iraqi professionals to analyze textbooks and remove “obvious” ideological material, Ms. Taveau said. One issue the agency had to deal with was that some examination centres were occupied by coalition forces.On the health front, to prevent the spread of disease among children, UNICEF has been sending teams of workers across Baghdad to fix blocked sewage lines and clean up the piles of refuse building up in many areas.As a result, 1.5 million people in four Baghdad areas are now living in much safer, cleaner homes and neighbourhoods free of the raw sewage that was a constant risk to children’s health, UNICEF spokesman Geoffrey Keele said.The agency is now tackling the problem in other parts of Baghdad and is also repairing sewage pumping stations that draw sewage out of neighbourhoods. Most of the capital’s 256 pumping stations are only partially functioning and UNICEF is repairing 28 of them, with plans for many more in the coming weeks and months, Mr. Keele said.