AMAR builds new Women’s Hospital in Basra

With the help of generous donors, the AMAR International Charitable Foundation has constructed and partly equipped a brand new charitable Paediatric / Maternity / Womens Hospital in Basra.

The hospital will serve over 100,000 living in Shatt Al-Arab, an area near Basra under-served by existing medical services. There are more than 22,000 women in the reproductive age group and over 4000 pregnancies are expected each year. There are more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 years old.

This state-of-the-art hospital will bring a new level of healthcare to women and children in these communities. The hospital is now close to opening and delivering an outpatient's clinic for women and children to the needy.

Donations are now being sought to enable AMAR to equip the hospital fully and start providing a more extensive range of medical services to the many disadvantaged women and children in the area

PLEASE DONATE HERE

THANK YOU.

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Inaugural Flight from Hyderabad to Baghdad

By John Lee.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) inaugurated the maiden direct flight service from Hyderabad to Baghdad on Sunday.

According to a press release, Fly Baghdad's maiden flight IF 462 took off at 15.17 hours from Hyderabad International Airport.

The flight will operate between Hyderabad and Baghdad twice a week, on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Flight IF 461 will arrive at GMR Hyderabad International Airport at 09.55 hours on Tuesdays. The return flight IF 462 will depart from Hyderabad at 10.55 on the same day.

On Sundays, flight IF 461 will arrive at HYD Airport at 11.55 hours and flight IF 462 departs at 12.55 hours.

Flights to India from Baghdad are popular among the Iraqis seeking medical treatment. The data released by the Union Tourism ministry shows medical tourists visiting India from Iraq comprised over 10% and is gradually growing.

(Source: GHIAL)

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KRG launches new Tendering Process for Medicines

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has announced a new tendering process for medicines.

According to a statement from the KRG, the new system will stabilise the price of 230 different medications.

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani commented:

"Through transparent contracts, we will provide our citizens with better quality medicine at a lower cost to the KRG."

More here and here.

(Source: KRG)

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Drugs, Militias form Explosive Mix on Iraq-Iran Border

By Shelly Kittleson for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Drugs, militias form explosive mix on Iraq-Iran border

Officers and judges who dare to go up against those controlling the drug trade along Iraq's southeastern border with Iran continue to be targeted as attempts are made to crack down on corruption.

Click here to read the full article.

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WFP Iraq Country Brief, July 2022

In Numbers

256,176 people assisted in July 2022

US$3.2 m cash-based transfers made

US$44.2 m six months (August 2022-Jan 2023) net funding requirements

Operational Updates

  • In July, WFP provided cash and food assistance to 184,091 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 68,725 refugees, and 3,360 people from vulnerable communities through resilience building initiatives.
  • In early July 2022, the Ambassador of Japan in Iraq visited WFP's resilience projects in Anbar, funded by Japan. The visit provided an opportunity for Japan to receive a firsthand account of the impact of the projects which rehabilitated 24 pumping and sewage drainage station. The stations continue to support 37 hectares of land enabling communities to grow and harvest crops.
  • In July, WFP handed over mechanized farming equipment (tractors) to the Directorate of Ninewa to support small holder farmers in the governorate and enhance the agricultural sector in Ninewa.
  • Under the National School Feeding Programme, WFP is preparing for the implementation of the School Feeding programme (SFP) with the Ministry of Education for the new academic year 2022/2023, that is expected to start in September.
  • Data collection under the WFP retargeting exercise across its entire beneficiary base continued in the month of July. The exercise seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable families who are unable to survive without assistance continued to receive support to meet their needs. Results will be verified and issued once the targeting exercise is concluded.
  • In July, the conflict sensitivity team conducted a mission to Thi-qar, Basra and Muthana to assess the social cohesion component of the resilience programme. This mission took place to ensure WFP resilience activities are conducted in conflict-sensitive manners.
  • Under the reform of Iraq's Public Distribution System (PDS), WFP continues to assist the government to print smart cards as part of an overall digital approach. As of July 2022, 34,000 digital PDS smart cards were printed for citizens at the Sadr city branch in Baghdad.
  • WFP together with UNICEF and ILO completed consultations with federal government leaders on policy making and the development of a strategy to create a single registry. The consultation sessions took place in Baghdad with representatives from relevant ministries (MOP, MOLSA, MOI, MOE, and MOH) and UN agencies.

Please click here to download the full report.

(Sources: ReliefWeb, WFP)

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Heatwave in Iraq: Concern for Workers in 50C Heat

Effective measures are needed to ensure adequate Occupational Safety and Health for workers during extreme heat in Iraq

With temperatures in Iraq soaring up to 50 degrees Celsius [122 degrees Fahrenheit] in recent weeks, the ILO in Iraq is calling on its tripartite partners - the government, employers' and workers' organizations - to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to mitigate some of the risks associated with working under extreme heat and ensure that workers are provided with adequate care at their workplace.

The extreme heat is increasing concerns in relation to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) conditions of workers, especially those employed in construction and agriculture - a sector which is already considered as one of the most hazardous in the world.

According to the recent Labour Force Survey, one in four workers in Iraq is employed either in construction or agriculture - an extremely significant number.

The ILO released a report in 2019 which stated that the "rise in global temperatures caused by climate change will make the phenomenon of "heat stress" more common," adding that "the higher heat levels caused by climate change threaten progress towards decent work by leading to a deterioration of working conditions and undermining the security, health and well-being of workers."

Workers in some parts of the country have been given time off due to the heat. Yet, for workers who cannot afford to miss a day of work, such as those in informal, temporary, seasonal or day labour, measures must be taken to ensure their protection.

On the practical level, this could include ensuring workers are provided with appropriate clothing, access to drinking water and shaded areas; and are encouraged to work during cooler hours with appropriate break times.

It also includes ensuring that legislation related to OSH are being enforced through labour inspections - especially in sectors which face most risks.

Iraq has ratified a number of ILO Conventions which focus on the needs to ensure protection for workers in different sectors, and most recently through the ratification of the Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001 (No. 184), which re-affirms the country's commitment to decent work and International Labour Standards.

The ILO is committed to supporting its partners in the development of Occupational Safety and Health and Labour Inspection polices and systems, that will contribute to modernizing those systems and improving conditions for workers and their employers, in line with International Labour Standards.

While these efforts are not specific to heat stress at work, they will nonetheless contribute to ensuring a more and better working environment for all workers in Iraq.

The safety and health of workers is the responsibility of everyone. We all have a role to play - even if small - to ensure that working conditions are decent and safe and that our environment is protected from further degradation."

(Source: UN)

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MSF in Iraq annual report 2021

The effects of years of conflict and instability are still felt in Iraq, more evidently in regions that witnessed fighting between the Islamic State (IS) group and the Iraqi-led coalition. In 2021, Iraq continued to be severely affected by COVID-19, with the country experiencing its second and third COVID-19 waves, each recording a higher number of infections and deaths than the one before it.

The pandemic significantly impacted the ongoing recovery of the health system and people's ability to access healthcare services. Many healthcare facilities across the country suspended their regular programmes to focus on treating COVID-19 patients.

MSF teams continued to provide a wide range of essential medical services and supported the response to health emergencies and health needs caused by the recent war against IS, the consequent displacement and return of millions of people, people's under-served healthcare needs and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This annual report provides an overview and the highlights of our activities across Iraq during 2021.

Click here to read the full report.

(Source: MSF)

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Saudi Arabia allocates Grant for Renovation of Ibn Al Khatib Hospital

By John Lee.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the allocation of a grant from the government of Saudi Arabia to finance the renovation of Ibn Al Khatib Hospital in Baghdad.

The Saudi embassy initially announced its support for the hospital last year, following a fire that killed at least 82 people, and left more than 100 injured.

The grant will be provided through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).

During the meeting, Iraq's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdul Sattar Hadi Al-Janabi, praised the critical role played by the Kingdom through the SFD in supporting the health sector and the infrastructure in Iraq. He highlighted the importance of the present project in enhancing the livelihood of many Iraqis and their access to essential health services.

According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the Kingdom has allocated $1.5 billion for soft loans through SFD to support development in Iraq.

(Source: Saudi Press Agency)

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$25m agreement for Medical Waste Management in Iraq

Ministry of Health and UNDP partner to address medical waste management challenges under $25m agreement

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq has signed a US$25 million agreement with Iraq's Ministry of Health (MoH) to strengthen medical waste management in the country.

The agreement is part of the $100 million Iraq Covid-19 Vaccination Project (ICVP), a loan financed by the World Bank to support the Government of Iraq's rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Under the agreement, UNDP will procure and install approximately 180 shredder autoclaves which convert medical waste - largely from COVID-19 vaccinations - such as syringes, ampules, dressings and personal protective equipment like masks and gloves into ordinary waste for safe disposal. These efforts support MoH's safe deployment of the vaccine throughout Iraq.

"We confirm the ongoing partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and all local and international supporting bodies for their technical support, and for developing infrastructure to strengthen the provision of health services across all levels of government and the Kurdistan Region. We are grateful for all the efforts supporting the Federal Ministry of Health and its departments in addressing health sector challenges." says the Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Hani Musa Badr Al-Uqabi.

"As the development partner of choice, UNDP is proud to have been selected by the Ministry of Health and the World Bank to implement this critical project.  The established and successful mechanisms UNDP Iraq has in place ensure agility, adaptability, flexibility, and transparency in our delivery." says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq Ms Zena Ali Ahmad.

"We also welcome the new collaboration with the World Bank who has provided the funds for this much-needed support for medical waste management in the country," she adds.

(Source: UN)

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Scramble to Contain new Animal Virus Outbreak

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi health authorities scramble to contain new animal virus outbreak

Viral hemorrhagic fever is spread by contact with animals and can constitute a "public health emergency of international concern."

Click here to read the full article.

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