Protecting communities from COVID-19: Canada commits funds to tackle growing pandemic in Iraq
The Government of Canada has contributed US$1.85 million (CAD 2.5 million) to support the Government of Iraq's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq.
The funds will be directed toward two critical areas of work; $1.85 million will support UNDP Iraq's immediate response to COVID-19, which supports 12 governorates, and includes 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.
An additional $75,000 will be used to provide local police engaged in Iraq's COVID-19 response with personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, largely focusing on officers in Baghdad, which has seen the highest number of cases in the country.
"The emergence of COVID-19 has presented yet another challenge for Iraq - which is still reeling from the devastating effects of the ISIL conflict, and is now faced with an economic crisis due to the decline in oil prices. This generous contribution from Canada will ensure the health and safety of communities through access to improved health services and infrastructure, and protect those serving local communities in the line of duty," says UNDP Iraq's Resident Representative, Zena Ali Ahmad.
The funds have been repurposed from existing agreements under UNDP Iraq's Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), and the Security Sector Reform/Rule of Law programmes. As one of UNDP Iraq's key partners, Canada has provided approximately $27 million to the two programmes.