By John Lee.
The United Kingdom has committed GBP 3 million (approximately US$ 4.1 million) to support the Government of Iraq's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
With this contribution, the United Kingdom joins 12 international partners in supporting UNDP's COVID-19 rapid health emergency response in Iraq. UNDP's response aims to strengthen Iraq's health sector in response to the pandemic, improve access to isolation wards and medical equipment, increase public awareness of COVID-19 symptoms and prevention measures, and provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers.
Since launching its response in March 2020, UNDP has established 13 purpose-built COVID-19 isolation wards in Anbar (Fallujah and Ramadi), Babil, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Dohuk, Karbala, Kirkuk, Missan, Najaf, Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates. Additional wards are being built in Diwaniya, Erbil, Muthanna and Wasit, bringing the total number of supported medical facilities to 17.
UNDP Resident Representative Zena Ali Ahmad, said:
"Containing the coronavirus outbreak is the Government of Iraq's top priority, particularly with the second wave of infections country-wide. UNDP is on the front line, supporting Iraq's national healthcare system to tackle the outbreak. The United Kingdom's generous contribution enables us to boost our support even further as we collectively fight this pandemic."
Her Majesty's Ambassador Stephen Hickey (pictured) said:
"The United Kingdom supports the Government of Iraq in its fight against COVID-19, which continues to cause such challenges in both of our countries. We are pleased to make available this unding through UNDP to strengthen Iraq's national health response and help manage the ongoing outbreak."
The United Kingdom joins Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States of America in supporting UNDP's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq.