The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided over $60 million to Iraq to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

These critical investments were vital to controlling the spread of the virus, providing life-saving equipment and medical supplies, and building health sector capacity to manage cases and keep communities safe. This assistance builds upon the U.S. Government’s long-term support to Iraq, which includes more than $70 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, of which nearly $4 billion were invested in the health sector.

Controlling the Spread 

USAID increased access to vaccines for Iraqis nationwide by adding up to 800 new COVID-19 vaccination locations, including in camps housing refugees and internally displaced persons.

USAID improved the capacity of health care facilities and health care workers to identify COVID-19 cases and isolate, care for, and refer patients for treatment. USAID upgraded existing health care centers with new equipment, conducted disinfection and vaccination campaigns, and provided health care workers with personal protective equipment. USAID also improved the government’s ability to manage outbreaks and prevent further infection at primary health care facilities in vulnerable communities, including camps for families displaced by conflict.

To help at-risk communities protect themselves against the spread of the disease, USAID supported educational outreach programs and distributed essential hygiene kits, more than 400 hand sanitizer stations, and at least half a million masks. USAID strengthened the COVID response of the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdish Regional Government by helping their laboratories conduct large-scale testing for COVID-19, donating ambulances, and supporting vital public health emergency planning, protocols, and training materials for health care workers to trace COVID-19 cases, control transmission, and rapidly respond to evolving needs.

Promoting Resilience through Community Outreach

USAID funded training programs in communications and media relations with the GOI and civil society partners to ensure that more accurate information on COVID-19 is shared with the public and to counteract the spread of disinformation, particularly in vulnerable regions of the country.

USAID worked closely with local partners to build up coordinated emergency preparedness and response plans across different sectors to ensure that even the most vulnerable communities maintain access to essential supplies and services. USAID provided urgently needed supplies to health directorates and health care facilities, ranging from hospital beds to privacy curtains, thermometers, masks, and gloves. USAID also printed and distributed five million vaccination cards.

USAID fostered social cohesion by supporting COVID-related projects designed by intercommunal youth. The youth participants distributed food and hygiene baskets, sewed and distributed masks for everyday use, and developed public awareness campaigns.

Rehabilitation for Stabilization

USAID supported efforts by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and local authorities to rehabilitate 12 health care facilities and provide modern equipment to help respond to COVID-19. In addition, USAID completed the rehabilitation of the East Mosul Medical Fluid Factory, which was destroyed by ISIS. It is one of only two facilities of its kind in the country.

In 2020, to help hospitals respond to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, USAID funded COVID-19 isolation wards and related equipment in nine provinces. The first isolation ward opened in Dohuk in October 2020, and all nine were completed by the end of 2020. The isolation wards continue to provide vital COVID-19 care for the 10 million Iraqis served by these hospitals.

Iraqi woman participates in community outreach to combat COVID-19
An Iraqi woman holds up a poster with information on COVID-19
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