Timely $10 million USAID contribution protects more communities against COVID-19 outbreak
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed over US$10 million recently to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq, allowing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to scale-up its response to the pandemic into three additional governorates.
The funds - pledged under UNDP's Funding Facility for Stabilization for activities implemented in partnership with the Government of Iraq - will be used to rehabilitate healthcare facilities and provide medical equipment and furniture to hospitals in the originally-identified priority locations of Basra, Duhok, Karbala, Kirkuk, Najaf, and Ninewa, as well as three additional areas: Babil, Dhi Qar and Maysan.
Funding will also be used to rehabilitate the East Mosul Medical Fluid Factory - one of the largest in Iraq, and a critical source of medical supplies to government hospitals, primary healthcare centres and pharmacies. The factory was severely damaged in the ISIL conflict.
"The steep rise in COVID-19 cases detected over the past few weeks is gravely concerning and shows that the virus has not yet reached its peak in Iraq," says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
"USAID's generous contribution comes at exactly the right time, allowing us to target even more communities by expanding our geographical scope to an additional three underserved governorates. As our biggest donor, we're extremely grateful for USAID's continued dedication to putting vulnerable communities first, and leaving no-one behind," she adds.
"The United States is proud to support this work to combat COVID-19 and assist the people of Iraq; this work will directly support citizens throughout the country to get the high-quality treatment they need to fight coronavirus," said Dana Mansuri, USAID Mission Director.
USAID joins Belgium, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden as key partners supporting UNDP Iraq's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.