IOM Iraq Appeals for USD 20.4 Million to Enhance National COVID-19 Response

IOM Iraq will build upon a strong operational footprint and existing expertise to support the Government of Iraq's response to COVID-19. Photo: IOM 2019/Raber Y. Aziz

Baghdad – IOM Iraq is appealing to the international community for USD 20,450,000 to contribute to halting further transmission of COVID-19 and mitigating the impact of the outbreak, including the socio-economic impact as well as the threat to public health.  

In Iraq, through 21 April, 1,602 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 83 deaths reported.  

The COVID-19 crisis is not only impacting vulnerable populations in Iraq, but is expected to have a severe effect on socioeconomic wellbeing across the country, unless immediate response and mitigation strategies are taken. This includes measures directed at an estimated 1.4 million internally displaced persons (some 300,000 of whom are living in camps and who are reliant on humanitarian assistance) and 4.6 million people who have returned to their areas of origin. Moreover, there today are thousands of migrants in Iraq, many undocumented, who now are unable to work and who require protection and support.  

"Years of conflict and sanctions have taken a toll on the Iraqi health care system. The COVID-19 pandemic may overwhelm this already weakened infrastructure,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “There are large IDP, refugee, returnee and migrant communities in Iraq already facing challenges accessing health care and relevant information. Many are still recovering from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) crisis and subsequent economic downturn.”  

IOM will build upon its strong operational footprint and existing expertise in migration health, integrated border management, community-based transition, and recovery and stabilization initiatives – including economic revitalization activities – to support the Government of Iraq’s response to COVID-19 through short, medium and long-term interventions where possible.   

Areas of focus will include Coordination and Partnerships; Tracking Mobility Impacts; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Disease Surveillance Systems; Public Health Capacities at Points of Entry; Infection Prevention and Control; Case Management and Continuity of Essential Services, Camp Coordination and Camp Management; Protection and Addressing Socioeconomic Impacts. The organization’s Communicating with Communities, protection and disability inclusion teams will provide essential support and guidance across all interventions.  

IOM Iraq will leverage its wide network of staff and offices across Iraq, who are experienced working in difficult operating environments, as wwell as IOM’s strong ties with government counterparts at national, governorate and local levels, to employ a multi-sectoral, whole-of-government-and society approach.  Protection and Addressing Socioeconomic Impacts. IOM Iraq’s Response Plan is part of the IOM Global Strategic Preparedness and Response plan, which aims to ensure that a well-coordinated, comprehensive, equitable and timely response to the crisis is in place to halt further transmission of the disease, limit the humanitarian and socioeconomic effects of the pandemic, and support affected communities in preparing for longer term-recovery.  

In coordination and partnership with relevant local actors and authorities, IOM Iraq will carry out its response in line with the WHO Iraq Country Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan Against COVID-19, released on 23 March 2020.

IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by or at risk of crisis and displacement in 2020 and beyond. The Platform is regularly updated as crises evolve and new situations emerge.      

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: