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ERC intensifies humanitarian response in Kurdistan, Iraq

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ABU DHABI, 22nd November, 2020 (WAM) -- The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has intensified its overall response to the humanitarian situation in Kurdistan, Iraq, by launching a winter clothes campaign, providing food and humanitarian aid to Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 14 camps, and supporting vulnerable families in Northern Iraq.

Thousands of families both inside and outside refugee camps have benefitted from the ERC’s efforts in the area.

The ERC also provided further logistical support to health establishments in Northern Iraq, through delivering 10 ambulances to the Ministry of Health of Iraqi Kurdistan via the country’s embassy in Erbil, under the framework of its ongoing efforts that have benefitted millions of refugees and displaced and vulnerable families in many local areas.

As part of the ERC’s efforts to assist Kurdistan’s health sector in combatting the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic and limit its spread in the region, the "Ataya Hospital for Motherhood and Childhood" was established by the ERC in Erbil to receive COVID-19 cases and offer them adequate healthcare.

The hospital is financed by proceeds from the fourth edition of the Ataya Charity Exhibition, which was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, who is the wife of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, Deputy Chairman of the ERC for Women’s Affairs and Chairperson of the Higher Committee of the Ataya Initiative.

Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the ERC, noted Sheikh Hamdan’s monitoring of the humanitarian and development situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, most notably the health situation, which is a key priority for the ERC in Iraq. He also talked about Sheikh Hamdan’s directives to provide for the basic needs of the region’s residents, as well as offer healthcare services to Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the region, in addition to his directives to support the health sector.

The ERC has adopted a plan to strengthen the capacities of health establishments in Northern Iraq and help them overcome their current challenges, Al Falahi said, adding that improving health services in Iraqi Kurdistan is one of the ERC’s leading priorities, and noting that the ERC is continuously reinforcing its humanitarian and development response for refugees and displaced people.

The ERC’s support for the health sector in Northern Iraq focusses on restoring health establishments and providing other logistical services and supplies, such as medical equipment and medicines.

Ahmed Al Dhaheri, UAE Consul-General in Erbil, highlighted the key role of the UAE, upon the directives of its leadership, in developing and rebuilding Northern Iraq, adding that the UAE has supported the Iraqi people through all circumstances, provided aid, assisted those affected by crises and disasters, and adopted initiatives that have changed the lives of people for the better.

The Minister of Health of the Government of Kurdistan, Iraq, underscored the importance of the development initiatives implemented by the UAE in Northern Iraq while lauding the ERC’s efforts, which are not limited to refugee camps but have reached out to neighbouring areas of Erbil.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir