USAID Donation Will Strengthen Iraq’s National COVID-19 Response
Erbil — As of 30 June 49,109 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Iraq, representing a more than tenfold increase in cases since early May. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirmed more than 1 million cases of COVID-19 in the 22 countries of its Eastern Mediterranean Region, calling this a “very concerning milestone”.
The Iraqi health care system has been weakened by years of conflict, sanctions, and low investments in health; it still lacks the capacity to respond to COVID-19. The crisis threatens to exacerbate vulnerabilities among Iraq’s large Internally Displaced Person (IDP), refugee, returnee and migrant communities.
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) is supporting the International Organization for Migration’s efforts to halt further transmission of COVID-19 in Iraq. Funding received from BHA will boost IOM Iraq’s ongoing programming in camps and informal settlement sites across five governorates: Anbar, Baghdad, Erbil, Duhok and Ninewa.
This project aims to enhance Government of Iraq and the community’s capacity to respond effectively to COVID-19, especially within vulnerable groups; strengthen disease surveillance during the outbreak; and improve health care facilities’ capacity to effectively identify and manage suspected cases.
“The Government of Iraq and IOM will need to maintain a flexible approach to keep vulnerable populations safe during this evolving pandemic,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “We thank BHA for its continued support to address the challenges of displaced persons, returnees and host communities during and after periods of crisis.”
In April 2020, IOM Iraq appealed to the international community for USD 20.4 million to limit the humanitarian and socioeconomic effects of the pandemic and support affected communities in preparing for longer term-recovery. Under its COVID-19 Strategic Response Plan, IOM Iraq is leveraging its wide network of staff and offices across all governorates, experience working in difficult operating environments and its strong ties with government counterparts at national, governorate and local levels, to employ a multi-sectoral, whole of government and society approach.
Areas of focus include Coordination and Partnerships; Tracking Mobility Impacts; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Disease Surveillance Systems; Public Health Capacities at Points of Entry; Infection Prevention and Control; Case Management and Continuity of Essential Services; Camp Coordination and Camp Management; Protection; and Addressing Socio-Economic Impacts of The Crisis. The organization’s Communicating with Communities, protection and disability inclusion teams will provide essential support and guidance across all interventions.
For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org