Baghdad, 7 April 2020 –The governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden have collectively committed US$5 million to support the Government of Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, in partnership with UNDP Iraq.
The funds, pledged under UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization to help rehabilitate infrastructure damaged by ISIL, will be used to support UNDP Iraq’s initial $22 million COVID-19 response package, which is being implemented under the umbrella of UNDP’s stabilization programme.
Measures to combat the virus under this package include increasing the testing capacity of laboratories, providing personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, increasing the number of isolation wards, and undertaking assessments to establish post-COVID-19 recovery strategies. Focusing on the most vulnerable communities in Iraq, activities will be rolled out in nine hospitals selected by local authorities in the underserved areas of Anbar, Diyala, Dohuk, Basra, Karbala, Najaf, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din.
“Containing the coronavirus outbreak is now the Government of Iraq’s number one priority, particularly as infection rates rise, putting more pressure on the Iraqi healthcare system outside the major capitals. We’re extremely grateful to Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden for acting swiftly to commit these funds for prevention activities to stem this crisis,” says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
“Due to the strict curfews imposed by the Government of Iraq, we’ve had no choice but to temporarily halt the implementation of our stabilization activities. However, by capitalizing on the tried-and-tested processes of our successful stabilization work, we will respond to this unprecedented global health crisis with the speed and agility UNDP Iraq is known for,” she says.
“Once this pandemic is under control, our stabilization activities will resume. Until then, we will work closely with the Government of Iraq, the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies to curb the crisis as best we can,” she added.
UNDP Iraq is currently discussing the remaining funding gap with other international partners. Processes have been established to ensure that once funds have been committed, the response measures can be implemented immediately.
For further information, please contact:
Fay Daoud, Communication Specialist, United Nations Development Programme Iraq
United Nations Compound-D1, International Zone, Baghdad, Iraq
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +964 78 1976 460 Hashtag: #IraqStabilization