In February 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Iraq. In response to this threat, clusters in Iraq began mobilizing resources to prepare for an increase of cases throughout the country. The WASH Cluster, along with the Health Cluster and the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, were the first clusters to mobilize, with a full Inter-Cluster Coordination Group mobilization occurring by the end of March. The response included development of technical guidance, updated ActivityInfo reporting mechanisms, and a revision of the HRP to include increase targets and funding needed to combat COVID-19.
In order to reflect back on the response for future outbreaks of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, the WASH Cluster, with the support of Mercy Corps and their donor USAID/BHA, organized a lessons learned workshop for COVID-19 on February 2 and 3, 2021 for selected partners to share their thoughts on what worked well, what didn’t work well, and what the cluster can do moving forward for COVID-19 response. For partners that could not attend the workshop, the cluster conducted an anonymous survey for feedback to be considered by the larger group.