Launch of EU - WHO Programme to Support Health Services in Iraq (27/01/2013)

A comprehensive capacity building Programme to improve Health Services in Iraq launched with EU financial support


BAGHDAD, 27 January 2013 – The Government of Iraq, the European Union and the World Health Organization today launched a three year comprehensive capacity building programme to assist the Government of Iraq and in particular the Ministry of Health to increase its capacities to use its own resources more effectively to deliver quality health services in Iraq.


The 10 million euro programme (around 15.5 billion Iraqi dinars) will be implemented using funds provided by the European Union. It complements other programmes already supported by EU in Iraq covering a wide range of sectors.  In a ceremony to mark the launch of the programme, HE Ms. Jana Hybaskova, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Iraq, stated “EU believes that healthy people are active people in society that are capable of contributing to the country’s reconstruction and economy”, she also added that “I wish to reaffirm, through this programme, the commitment of the European Union to continue assisting the Government of Iraq in building a resilient health system based on primary health care values that will lead to universal coverage and access to quality health services, particularly for the most vulnerable population.”.   EU support to Iraq from 2003 to 2012 amounts to € 1,151.5 million (around 2 trillion Iraqi dinars) out of which €127 million (around 197 billion Iraqi dinars) have been allocated to the health sector.   
The Government of Iraq is thankful to the European Union for its continued support to Iraq said HE. Dr. Majeed Hamad Amin, Iraq's Minister of Health. He also added that since 2005 onwards, the European Union has become the principal donor that is supporting the health sector in Iraq. He stated that there are several ongoing programmes, including the €13 million (around 20 billion Iraqi dinars) project also funded by the European Union to support specialized medical services (emergency medical services and blood transfusion services) which are already making a difference in the life of Iraqi population by improving the performance of pre-hospital and hospital care, including ambulance services, long term rehabilitation and mental health care services.


Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative for Iraq said that the programme will lead to improving the performance of Iraqi health system and the delivery of quality of health services through five key concerted actions: (1) Strengthening capacities of the government in a better and effective use and distribution of human, financial and pharmaceutical resources; (2) Increasing capacities of the Ministry of Health in managing health care facilities; (3) Developing efficient drug regulatory framework, including the National Medicine Policy and updating the Essential Medicine List; (4) Developing and adopting policy framework and plans for production; continued education, licensing of health work force, focusing on nurses and midwives; and (5) Improving the performance of nurses/midwives and other categories of health workforce through strengthening the quality of curricula and training.


The programme for capacity building being launched today has taken into consideration the priorities of the Government of Iraq as defined in the national development plan and its implementation will involve the collaboration of different ministries and professional associations concluded Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative in Iraq.  


For more information, please contact:


Dr. Ezechiel Bisalinkumi, Technical Officer, Essential Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals (EHTP), WHO Iraq Country Office, Tel: +964 7809161459;  and Ruba Hikmat, Technical Officer, Health Promotion, WHO Iraq Country Office, Mobile: +962 (0) 799 499 455;


Hala Al-Sharifi, EU Programme Manager/ Delegation of the European Union to Iraq,