PM Rejects Resignation of Health Minister

By John Lee.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has reportedly rejected the resignation of the health minister Ala Al Alwan (pictured).

Citing problems with blackmail and corruption, it was the minister’s second attempt to resign, having been persuaded to remain after a previous attempt in March.

More here.

(Source: The National)

WFP Iraq Country Brief, July 2019

In Numbers

  • 378,787 people assisted in July 2019
  • 1,87 mt of food assistance distributed
  • USD 3.04 million cash-based transfers made
  • USD 68.2 million six months (August 2019 – WFP January 2020) net funding requirements

Operational Updates

  • In July, WFP delivered food assistance to 378,787 people in 10 governorates, reaching 89.7 percent of the monthly target of 422,376 people. This is mainly due to some delays in Mobile Money Transfers (MMT) payments to people assisted due to banking regulations issues. WFP Iraq is taking steps to resolve this by opening a local bank account in Iraqi dinars.
  • WFP Iraq continues to coordinate with the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) to meet the food needs of IDPs. In Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al-Din, WFP delivered a “top-up” to MoMD’s assistance. This represents around 65 to 70 percent of the total entitlement provided by MoMD and mainly consists of cereals and lentils (50 kg per-household) to complement MoMD’s food basket, or a cash transfer of 11,000 IQD.
  • General food assistance to refugees is now being delivered through MMT. The transition from e-vouchers included successful rounds of SIM card distributions in nine camps, with good coordination between WFP teams, partners, camp management and Financial Service Provider (FSP) teams.
  • In close coordination with the Ministry of Education, preparations are underway to resume School Feeding in October for the new academic year. A Call for Proposals for cooperating partners took place, and recruitment for the new team is also starting.
  • Over 1,000 students graduated from the first cycle of EMPACT digital skills training. They are now enrolled in advanced (Level 2) courses focusing on advanced digital skills and English. Outreach is underway for the second cycle of new students to begin Level 1 classes in August. WFP Iraq’s sub-offices have received a donation of Google Chromebooks, which will be handed over to EMPACT classrooms for participants to use for freelance work from August.
  • As part of the testing phase of the digitalisation of Iraq’s Public Distribution System (PDS) social safety locations in Anbar governorate. The first ePDS distributions took place in Duhok and Najaf, and the second distribution cycle took place in Baghdad.
  • In partnership with Mosul University, WFP Iraq’s Resilience team has begun the “three-pronged approach” (3PA) training for the planning of resilience projects. The 3PA takes into account the nationwide, seasonal/livelihoods and community levels for planning.

(Source: WFP)

Siemens supports Rehabilitation of Baiji Health Clinic

Siemens, the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the Directorate of Health in Salah ad-Din Province have announced the completion of building repairs and the impending installation of Siemens medical equipment at the Al-Tawheed Center.

The clinic, located in Baiji, has been fully renovated by the Ministry of Health and will be equipped with Siemens technology to provide much-needed medical care to residents of the province, approximately 200km north of Baghdad.

Siemens will donate all medical and power equipment required for the Al-Tawheed Center to the German non-governmental organization Stiftung der Deutschen Lions, enabling them to complete center’s rehabilitation.

When complete, the center will have the capacity to treat up to 10,000 patients a year. The Siemens equipment includes a digital x-ray, a dental treatment center, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment including a hematology blood analyzer, a power transformer and other technical equipment required to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Musab Alkateeb, CEO of Siemens Iraq, said:

This health clinic is an important part of our commitment to the Iraqi people, and we are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Health and local leaders to return this important facility to the community.

“Siemens has a long relationship with the city of Baiji and its people, and we understand the importance of enabling access to high-quality, reliable healthcare as we work together to build the New Iraq.

(Source: Siemens)

IBBC establishes Health Sector Table

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that it has established a Health Sector Table.

This Table will be chaired by Professor David Kerr, Rhodes Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics, and Head of Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Oxford University.

It is being supported by the Iraqi Minister of Health and the Environment, Dr Ala Alwan, who attended its first meeting.

The Table’s first meeting was held at IBBC’s offices on the morning of Friday 28th June. Its purpose is to allow relevant member organisations to become involved in the further development of the Iraqi health sector.

Healthcare is a priority for IBBC, and the Minister will personally be liaising with this Table. Also present at this meeting were representatives of Almanseer Insurance, Serco, Protechnique, GE Healthcare, Perkins+Will UK, PwC, Management Partners, and The Amar Foundation.

For more information on the Iraq Britain Business Council, visit https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/

(Source: IBBC)

IDPs in Iraq to benefit from EUR 100m Assistance Package

EU adopts new €100 million assistance package to benefit refugees and local communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq

The European Union (EU) – via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – adopted a €100 million new assistance package to support the resilience of refugees, internally displaced person (IDP) host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

This will be done through the strengthening of public service delivery systems, improved access to higher education, and improved child protection services.

With this new package €1.6 billion out of a total of €1.8 billion mobilised by the EU Trust Fund have now been turned into financing concrete actions helping refugees and host countries alike.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented:

“The EU delivers on its commitments. With these additional €100 million of assistance, the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis continues to support refugees to become increasingly economically self-reliant. Through access to income generating opportunities, they are able to take their livelihoods in their own hands, provide for themselves, and preserve their dignity.

“At the same time we are supporting host communities and Syria’s neighbours in their effort to expand their economies while coping with challenges related to the conflict which is still ongoing”.

The newly adopted €100 million aid package consists of the following actions:

  • €55 million to support the resilience of refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €28.4 million for access to higher education for refugees and vulnerable host youth in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €12.5 million to provide protection services to children and women victim of gender based violence in Lebanon;
  • €3.6 million to continue and strengthen the Trust Fund’s horizontal monitoring and evaluation framework.

This assistance package has been adopted by the EU Trust Fund’s Operational Board, which brings together the European Commission, fifteen EU Member States, and Turkey. Observers of the Operational Board include members of the European Parliament, representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the World Bank, and the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.

The EU Trust Fund is now in its fifth year of implementation, but the Syria crisis is far from being over. Over time, the needs have changed and the Trust Fund has evolved from providing early recovery assistance focusing on addressing basic needs of those affected by the Syria crisis to equipping refugees and local communities with tools and skills for greater self-reliance.

The Trust Fund also focuses on reinforcing the national systems for public service delivery to meet refugee and local community needs in the longer term. Currently 67 projects have been contracted to implementing partners on the ground.

(Source: EU)

Cancer hits Iraqi oil city of Basra

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Cancer hits residents of Iraqi oil city of Basra

The deputy governor of Basra province, Zahra al-Bijari, claimed June 6 that cancer rates have been growing dramatically in the province as a result of pollution, both from oil production and from depleted uranium dust that a doctor says is causing “another Hiroshima.

The province of Basra is registering 800 new cases of cancer per month, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, which attributed the cause to “multiple reasons, including environmental pollutants, whether in the air such as emanating from oil combustion, in water and soil, and resulting from effects of war.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture credit: Ahmed Mahmoud)

UNICEF Petition: Invest more in Iraqi Children

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, UNICEF launches an online petition asking decision-makers to invest more in Iraqi children

This week, UNICEF Iraq launched its #Pledge4Children petition to kick off its celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, or CRC.

The CRC is the most ratified human rights treaty in history and the most comprehensive set of rights for children. When world leaders came together, in a rare moment of international unity, to adopt the CRC, they committed themselves to fulfilling their obligations by ensuring that every child and adolescent is able to exercise his or her full rights.

The Government of Iraq signed up to the convention in June 1994.

“By ratifying the convention, Iraq committed itself to making sure every child is protected, educated, and able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life,” explained UNICEF Iraq Representative Hamida Lasseko.

Tremendous progress has been made since then, despite years of conflict and instability in the country. More, however, still needs to be done to ensure that children in Iraq are protected and have their full rights as enshrined in the CRC, including their right to education, play, freedom, and safety.

In order to do so, UNICEF Iraq is asking the Iraqi public to endorse its #Pledge4Children online asking decision-makers to reaffirm their commitment to children’s rights.

“We are calling on all of you to show your support for children and adolescents in Iraq. Every voice counts. We want you to add yours to our campaign by signing our petition and pledge for children today,” added Ms Lasseko.

The pledge calls for decision-makers to:

  • Increase public investments in quality health care, quality education, and safe water, so that every child and adolescent has a fair chance to reach his or her full potential
  • Listen to children and adolescents impacted by our policies and services and take their voices into consideration when formulating policies that impact their lives
  • Ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence and abuse

#Pledge4Children is part of UNICEF’s year-long run of activities, workshops and partnerships to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the CRC and raise awareness about children’s rights in Iraq.

Listen to Ms. Lasseko’s full message in this video & Sign the petition and #Pledge4Children to call on Iraqi leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child in Iraq and invest more in children.

(Source: UN)

Run Media City – Changing Lives in Iraq

Run Media City – the power of words can change lives in Iraq

On the 27th June 2019, Hussein Al-alak and Tracy Hollowood are taking part on the Run Media City 5K, to aid the ongoing work of the AMAR Foundation in Iraq.

This is the second time Hussein and Tracy have taken part on the 5K, around Salford’s Media City, and they are inviting you to support the AMAR Foundation.

Your support will assist AMAR’s efforts in health, education and much more! You can also help by introducing your friends, to the many incredible changes, which the AMAR Foundation are making across Iraq.

One positive change AMAR has made, is the School for Orphans which the Foundation built in Basra in 2016. Up to 30% of the school’s children have lost both parents, the school has modern facilities and it provides a broad curriculum, so children get the best start in life.

You can sponsor Hussein and Tracy – by donating £8.99 to the AMAR Foundation – which is the equivalent of one copy of On the Road, by US author Jack Kerouac.

As Iraqi’s are known for their love of great literature, you could also use John Steinbeck’s words to inspire Iraq’s future generations.

By donating the cost of your favourite book, you will be helping the AMAR Foundation to provide a high standard of education, to children and young people across Iraq.

(Source: Iraq Solidarity News)

Video: Years of Conflict hit Health Services in Basra

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s vast oil wealth once paid for some of the best health services in the Middle East.

But decades of conflict and political unrest have led to, what the government admits, a crisis in hospitals.

Things are particularly bad in Basra province where people have long complained of government neglect.

Around 70 children are being treated for cancer in Basra Children’s Hospital.

Experts say pollution from surrounding oilfields is one of the reasons why Basra has the highest rate of cancer in Iraq.

Al Jazeera‘s Charles Stratford reports:

MSF Reports on Iraq Operations

By John Lee.

Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has issued a report on its operations in Iraq.

It has been working in Iraq since 1991, with more than 1,500 staff providing free, quality healthcare for all people regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

In Iraq, MSF offer services such as basic health care, treatment for chronic diseases, secondary healthcare including maternity with surgical capacity for caesarean sections, paediatric and emergency care, specialised services to treat severely injured patients with post-operative complications and mental health support to displaced people, returning population and communities most affected by violence in the governorates of Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Erbil, Ninewa, and Kirkuk.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: MSF)