Japan’s latest contribution boosts health assistance to vulnerable populations in Iraq

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Baghdad, 23 March 2018 – Japan has renewed its commitment to the work WHO does in Iraq by meeting lifesaving needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in the governorates of Ninewa, Erbil and Duhok.

This recent contribution raises Japan’s donation to US$ 5.2 million since 2016. The donation has been valuable in purchasing ambulances, medical kits and equipment, which have assisted thousands of men, women and children in need of medical care.

The health infrastructure in the country – that once boasted a strong health system – now is in urgent need of rebuilding of hospitals, training health professionals, medical equipment and medicines. 

“These grants have enabled WHO to offer health care to 4.5 million people in vulnerable communities such as refugees, IDPs, those returning to destroyed homes and neighbourhoods, and those who host others during the transition,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Iraq.

“The latest donation will extend WHO’s assistance to 3 million people who will benefit from additional medical equipment and supplies, strengthened capacity of Iraqi medical staff, and screening and monitoring of diseases that can easily spread in camps and crowded settlements,” Musani added.

Mr Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, said: “The assistance to WHO comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq amounting to approximately US$ 100 million. Japan is determined to serve displaced and returning people, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development.” 

“It is the fourth year in a row since Japan started its assistance for vulnerable Iraqi and Syrian people affected by ISIL through its supplementary budget. This assistance shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing the basic needs in the camps and the areas of return in Iraq,” he added.

According to the Humanitarian Response Plan 2018, the Health Cluster, whose work ranges from early disease detection to case management, is targeting 3.4 million people out of 8.7 million people in need.

WHO strives to improve the health of the most vulnerable people in Iraq in 2018/2019, and for that purpose US$ 59 million is needed, of which only 24% has been secured.