Dr Ala ALwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, addresses the media

WHO sounds alarm on diminishing health response due to limited funding

Baghdad, Iraq, 16 March, 2015 -- WHO's Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan continues his visit to Iraq to review the unmet health needs of populations affected by the conflict due to lack of funding. Out of the US$ 314.2 million required by the health sector, only US$ 95.5 million has been received (30.4%), leaving a critical funding gap of US$ 218.7 million. 

“The situation is alarming,” says Dr Alwan. “More than 5 million people in Iraq are currently in need of health services. While WHO and health partners are doing all we can to save lives, our efforts are hindered by insufficient funding. The longer we wait, the more critical the situation becomes for those who need urgent, life-saving health services. We urge the international donor community to act immediately to allow us to continue our work.” 

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Key health-related statistics

Total population 35 095
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 4.4
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 67
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.8
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 70.0

Source: Country statistical profiles (2014)

See Iraq country profile

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The WHO Representative for Iraq

Iraq WHO headquarters page