EU Humanitarian Air Bridge delivers educational materials and personal protective equipment for UNICEF’s coronavirus response in Iraq
Baghdad, 27 July 2020 – A European Union chartered air flight arrived in Baghdad yesterday carrying 27 tons of essential relief items for UNICEF. The flight, which took off from the French city of Lyon in the morning and landed in Baghdad International Airport the same evening, transported educational kits for vulnerable children acquired with the support of the Governments of Germany and the Netherlands, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers with support from the Government of Japan.
“The EU set up a Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq to ensure that essential supplies reach vulnerable children and frontline health workers in these difficult times,” said Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. “The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the country hard, increasing vulnerability of those most at risk. The EU’s humanitarian air flights and additional funding are a tangible expression of EU solidarity with the people in Iraq in their hour of need.”
In addition, the EU has also released an additional 1 million to support UNICEF’s relief work for vulnerable people, bringing the EU’s total contribution to UNICEF Iraq this year to over 5.6 million Euros.
These latest funds will be used to improve sanitation facilities and help maintain a clean environment through waste management, water quality monitoring and hygiene promotion for children and their families for an estimated 50,000 residents of internally displaced camps in the northern part of the country. This is crucial amid the coronavirus outbreak and within the context of Iraq where only 39 % of the population has access to safe and clean water. In addition, the new funds will go towards protection services for children who are in contact with the law, including case management, issuance of identity documents, legal assistance and psychosocial support. Many vulnerable children, living both in camps and outside of camps, continue to need protection and assistance. Iraqi or non-Iraqi, thousands of children are victims of violence, abuse and exploitation.
“We are highly appreciative of the support that our EU partners are providing us so that we are able to keep children healthy and safe and help them get back to learning as quickly as possible. And at this time of critical need of supply of Personal Protective Equipment to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Iraq, UNICEF appreciates the continuing partnership with the EU, through which we can share resources and quickly bring the supplies that are so badly needed into the country,” explained Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.