'Mission Unaccomplished' in Iraq - our new Report

1 May 2013

Mission Unaccomplished reportTen years on from George W Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech, nearly 700 children and young people have been killed in violence in Iraq over the last five months, according to new figures  published today in our report. The report warns that Iraqi children are being abandoned by the countries that invaded in 2003 as they cut back on aid to Iraq despite increasing violence, falling school numbers and lower life expectancy.

According to Mission Unaccomplished, ten years after George W Bush’s speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, Iraq has become one of the worst places to be a child in the Middle East:


  • Violence has increased over the last two years and in recent months nearly 700 children and young people have been killed by violent attacks alone.
  • Iraqi children are falling behind in education: fewer than half of 12-17 year olds now attend secondary school and enrolment in primary school was higher before the war than after.
  • Life expectancy has dropped: a child born in 2011 could expect to live almost two years less than a child born in 2000.

On top of this, violence in the last week has been the most widespread since US withdrawal in 2011. The violent upsurge is following an army raid on an anti-government protest camp on April 23 in which more than 50 people were killed, triggering a huge increase in hostilities.

The report warns that the children of Iraq are being abandoned as international donors sign up to the view that the mission has been accomplished. The UK Department for International Development pulled out of Iraq in 2012 and global development assistance fell by 19 billion dollars between 2005 and 2011.

In the report we call for international donors to provide long-term support for programmes in Iraq, focused on the needs of children and young people for protection from violence, and for landmine clearance and education reform.

Listen to our CEO Rob Williams talk about the report on Radio 4's Today Programme: