Iraq to receive help to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Once again Poland is providing Iraq with assistance in fighting the spread of COVID-19. The material aid will be delivered through NATO Pandemic Response Trust Fund (PRTF).
Iraq plays a key role in ensuring stability in the region. However, the country is struggling with difficulties that are the result of, among others, the war with ISIS. The poor security situation and enormous social and economic challenges not only exacerbate existing problems, but also hinder the effective fight against new ones, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bearing in mind Iraq’s great humanitarian needs and the necessity to support its medical services, Poland once again decided to provide the country with material assistance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As part of its contribution to NATO’s special trust fund – the Pandemic Response Trust Fund (PRTF) – Poland donated about 200,000 items of personal protective equipment, including surgical masks, half masks, gloves and protective suits, as well as disposable medical bed linen.
At the initiative of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, the relief measures were implemented by the National Security Bureau, while personal protective equipment worth nearly PLN 300,000 was provided by the Government Agency for Strategic Reserves.
The materials will be handed over to the local medical services by the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq in cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Bagdad.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iraq’s humanitarian needs have increased considerably. Poland does its utmost to respond to these needs on a regular basis, both through Polish aid and through other channels of cooperation, including NATO mechanisms. In June and July 2020, also at the initiative of Poland’s president, 50,000 protective masks and 1,000 litres of disinfectant liquid were donated to Iraq under the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). In January 2021, thanks to the involvement of the Ministry of National Defence and in cooperation with the Polish Military Contingent in the Republic of Iraq, the country received blankets, surgical gowns, towels, and sheets.
Iraq has a special place in Polish history. It is also one of the countries Poland regularly provides with humanitarian aid. Our relief efforts in Iraq are implemented by Polish non-governmental organisations and soldiers serving in the PMC. Poland also provides support through multilateral channels, including the annual contribution to the UNDP programme aimed at stabilising the situation in the country. Polish humanitarian aid for Iraq in 2018-2020 amounted to nearly PLN 23 million.
The PRTF is NATO’s special fund established to maintain a stockpile of medical equipment and supplies to be able to respond to the needs of NATO’s Allies and partners that struggle in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Poland’s assistance under the PRTF mechanism has also reached North Macedonia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina.