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Tuesday, 06 October 2020 19:53

Health, education, water, environment: Key issues highlighted in Resident Coordinator’s visit to Basra

Baghdad, Iraq; 05 October 2020 -The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Ms Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano visited Basra yesterday, reaffirming the UN’s long-term commitment to supporting the Government of Iraq in current challenges, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.

Ms Vojáčková-Sollorano was accompanied by Ms. Zena Ali Ahmad, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Iraq and Hamida Ramadhani Lasseko, Country Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Iraq.

During a meeting with Basra Governor H.E Mr. Asaad al-Eidani, the Resident Coordinator discussed the challenges facing communities in Basra, including adequate healthcare amidst the pandemic and the need to encourage continued education, particularly for girls. She also met with representatives from civil society to express support for more robust environmental protection measures, long-term employment opportunities, and respect for human rights.
“From providing reliable and safe water sources, to establishing quality health infrastructure, to boosting employment opportunities for Basra’s youth – the UN has made a positive impact across Basra. But more needs to be done,” said Resident Coordinator Vojáčková-Sollorano.
“We can’t deny that the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought on a unique set of challenges to a community that was already struggling to access basic services. In my discussions with the Governor and civil society members, one thing was clear – a collective desire to ensure these needs are addressed, and the most vulnerable communities In Basra are protected,” she said, adding “The UN stands ready to support this effort.”

Ms. Vojáčková-Sollorano along with Ms Ali Ahmad visited Al Fayhaa Hospital, where UNDP has recently completed the construction of a 20-bed isolation ward, which has the capacity to provide life-saving care to COVID-19 patients, as well as offering a purpose-built environment for hospital staff to manage cases safely and effectively. The construction of the ward, furniture and some of the medical equipment was funded by USAID, and ventilators provided by France.

Also on the agenda was a visit to the Hamdan wastewater treatment facility with Ms Hamida Ramadhani Lasseko to the south of the city center that UNICEF successfully rehabilitated, in partnership with the province’s directorate of sewage and with funding from of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Thanks to the rehabilitation, at least 750,000 Basrawis have access to safe and clean water and are protected from preventable waterborne diseases.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 06 October 2020 20:12

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