WHO appeals for resources to address increasing health needs of displaced populations in Iraq

Erbil, 28 October 2014. The Strategic Response Plan (SRP) 2014-2015 for Iraq, launched on Thursday 23 October, appeals for a total of US$2.2 billion to cover the provision of critical humanitarian aid for displaced populations in Iraq, of which US$187 million is urgently required for health. 

 

“WHO is focusing on two main health strategic objectives in this response in addition to a winterization preparedness plan,” said Dr Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq. “The first is providing timely basic package of primary and secondary health care services including reproductive and mental health services, care for disabled, and patients with chronic diseases and nutrition services; and the second objective is strengthening the early detection, investigation and response to outbreaks of communicable diseases for various target populations inclusive of internal displaced population and Syrian refugees.”  

Since early August, some 850,000 people have been uprooted, scaling up the overall figure of people displaced in Iraq to 1.8 million overall. “The mass displacement and relocation of entire communities are a public health concern for WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Health of Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” said Dr. Jaffar.  Moreover, patient caseloads have increased at hospitals and clinics due to weather conditions, including heavy rains and low temperatures. This has placed huge burden on health staff and resulted in reported shortages of essential medicines and medical supplies. “The onset of winter will affect displaced populations if shelter is not sufficient and hence mobile medical teams and referring health facilities need to be prepared to cope with the increased demand,” he concluded.  

WHO and partners are supporting departments of health to accelerate winterization preparedness plans, including provision of supplies and qualified personnel and resources to fill all identified health gaps at a total cost of US$28 million.

From June–October 2014, WHO scaled up its presence in Iraq working in Baghdad, Erbil, Duhok, Suleimaniyah, and Basra and has provided medical kits and supplies to support 1 million people in all accessible parts of the country. WHO also supported six national immunization campaigns held throughout the country since April 2014 administering 28.2 million vaccines, enhanced access to health care services by providing mobile and fixed health facilities, recruited 250 doctors and nurses to strengthen the health workforce, deployed partners from the Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) to assess increasing public health risks, strengthened the EWARN and disease surveillance throughout the country and trained over 150 health staff on surveillance and case management. 

The World Health Organization is seeking US$187 million to meet the humanitarian health needs of Iraqis and displaced Syrians affected by the conflict in Iraq.

 

For further information, please contact:

-Ms Ajyal Sultany| Communication Officer| WHO,

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +964 (7809 269 506) Or (7510 101 469) 

 

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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