Battling Coronavirus: France prioritizes critical medical equipment in southern Iraq
The Government of France has committed EUR 300,000 (US$334,448) to support the Government of Iraq's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The funds will be used to purchase ventilators - a life-saving piece of equipment for Coronavirus patients - for Basra Teaching Hospital in southern Iraq.
"The emergence of COVID-19 has exacerbated the many challenges experienced by communities in Basra, who are struggling to access basic infrastructure and services. We are very grateful for this contribution from France which will alleviate the extreme pressure currently placed on under-resourced health facilities in Basra. As the pandemic has unfolded globally, we have seen how important ventilators have been in saving lives," says Resident Respresentive of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
In addition to ventilators and other life-saving equipment provided to the hospital, UNDP Iraq is also building isolation units, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus, and boosting the testing capacity of labs to increase the detection of cases.
It also supports an online awareness-raising platform, Corona in Iraq which outlines symptoms and risks of COVID-19, dispels rumors about the virus, and tracks symptoms to encourage people to seek medical advice.
"France is fully committed to actively support the Governement of Iraq to meet the needs of the Iraqi population. This medical equipment will contribute to help medical teams in southern Iraq to face with this urgent situation and allow them to save more lives. We welcome all the efforts made by UNDP to coordinate the help of international donors in order to combat the spread of the disease in Iraq", says the Ambassador of France, Bruno Aubert."
In addition to Basra, UNDP Iraq's COVID-19 response package extends to Anbar, Babel, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Dohuk, Karbala, Kirkuk, Missan, Najaf, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din.
With this latest contribution, France has provided US$7.8 million in support to UNDP Iraq since 2015.