Life-saving initiatives: Government of Japan supports WHO

Baghdad, 19 May 2016 — The Government of Japan has generously provided US$ 3 million to support the work of the World Health Organization in Iraq. This contribution directly supports life-saving primary and secondary health care services in Duhok and the plains of Ninewa, where more than 600 000 people live, as well as the prevention, early detection and containment of outbreaks in 11 governorates.

“This timely contribution from the Government of Japan will further enable WHO to focus on mitigating the impact of the ongoing conflict on the burdened public health system in Iraq,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Iraq. 

“The health system in Iraq is facing capacity gaps and infrastructural constraints due to years of instability and emergencies,” said H.E. Mr Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq. “We are working with WHO to respond to escalating health needs and preventing potential disease outbreaks.” 

More than 10 million Iraqis require some form of relief assistance as a result of displacement, migration, and insecurity. The delivery of health care services in both conflict-affected and areas hosting internally displaced persons has been impacted since the beginning of the crisis in June 2014. 

The conflict in Iraq has had a major impact on the health system; health facilities have been destroyed, while those that remain functional are overwhelmed due to increased demand for health services. The lack of investment in environmental health measures, coupled with gaps in the national routine immunization system, has recently led to outbreaks of measles and cholera in many areas.  

With support from donors such as the Government of Japan, WHO and partners are actively working with the Ministry of Health and directorates of health to respond to the health needs of all Iraqis.

For more information please contact: 

Ms Ajyal Sultany
Communications Officer
+964 7510 101 469
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ms Rosane Lopes
Communications Officer
+964 7809288614
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Key health-related statistics

Total population 36 004
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 6.0
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 50
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.7
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 70.0

Source: Country statistical profiles (2015)

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