The United States provides the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iraq with six million and 500 thousand dollars to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees in the midst of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
UNHCR, in a statement, announced the US contributions would strengthen their efforts, “to ensuring protection interventions for persons of concern to prevent their exposure to life threatening situations and ensure their basic needs are met, including access to basic hygiene items through the distribution of cash assistance.”
There are more than 787 thousand IDPs only in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The IDPs consist of different ethnic and religious minorities and backgrounds; 208 thousand of them live in 28 camps, which costs Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) two million and USD 700 thousand per day, according to the Joint Crisis Center, the KRG Ministry of Interior.
The statement indicates that the fund would help UNHCR with, “health promotion and awareness raising; provision of medical equipment; training of health workers; strengthening health care services in camps; improving referral systems; ensuring access to Mental Health and Psycho-social Support services; support early detection of positive cases; and enhancing disinfection activities in camps.”
Meanwhile, the United States’ Ambassador for Iraq Mr. Matthew H.Tueller reaffirmed their support for the IDPs.
“The United States continues to provide humanitarian assistance, giving shelter to IDPs, demining key parts of liberated communities, and returning services to the people. This additional contribution to UNHCR will support these vulnerable populations to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic” H.Tueller told UNHCR.
UNHCR assists IDPs across Iraq with the helps of the central and regional government.
UNHCR’s Acting Representative Philippa Candler explains the importance of humanitarian actions and the significant effect of the COVID-19.
“Humanitarian action to save lives and alleviate the suffering of vulnerable populations remains crucial. The socioeconomic effects of the covid-19 pandemic on displaced people are huge, mainly because of the COVID-19 restrictions. UNHCR appreciates the support from major donor countries such as the United States of America,” Candler said.
Earlier, Belgium, Netherland, and Sweden donated five million dollars to the Iraqi government to combat coronavirus, with the cooperation of UNHCR.
2818 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Iraq as of now, among which 1790 have recovered and 110 have died. There are 918 active cases.