A "back to school" campaign delivered 1,500 kits with book bags, notebooks, pens and pencils that helped 120,000 students in Baghdad return to their classrooms in May 2003. In preparation for the new school year, 1.2 million kits for secondary school students and 4,000 kits for their schools including desks, chairs, blackboards, and bookshelves are arriving in Iraq.
Malnutrition contributed to high mortality rates in Iraq during Saddam's rule. The food aid for Iraq has continued to supply the public distribution system and has allowed the majority of Iraqis access to food rations. On July 15, the World Food Program reported that nearly 1.5 million metric tons of food, or more than the three months supply required to keep the distribution system operating, have been dispatched to Iraq. An additional 2.2 million metric tons of food will arrive by the end of October. These steps will contribute to reversing malnutrition.
To date, 22.3 million doses of measles, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio vaccines have been provided, enough to vaccinate 4.2 million children.
Nearly all Iraqi children have finished their exams from last year and are ready to start a new school year in the fall. All universities are reopened.
A $53 million program to rehabilitate more than 100 schools and clinics is underway. In the southern region, more than 50 schools are in various stages of rehabilitation. More than 600 schools will be in "like new" condition in time for the beginning of classes.
Five million revised math and science textbooks will be ready before the start of the school year.
Saddam Hussein's rhetoric is being removed from Iraqi schoolchildren's textbooks. In the words of Dunia Nabel, a teacher in Baghdad: "We want flowers and springtime in the texts, not rifles and tanks." (The Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003).
Ten delivery rooms in hospitals and primary healthcare centers in Basra have been rehabilitated and stocked with essential drugs and medical supplies.
The juvenile institution for children that was the subject of reports of abuse and appalling conditions under Saddam Hussein has been replaced by a project run by UNICEF and NGOs. Seven orphanages have undergone major building renovations and training for staff.
Nearly 3,000 soccer balls were shipped on May 30 and another 60,000 balls on their way to Iraq through a private/public partnership and the U.S. soccer community.
Results in Iraq: 100 Days Toward Security and Freedom