Tue, Jun 9, 2020
Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein “Investment in the reduction of the global health risks should not be seen as an opportunity for shared profit, we have to work together with a spirit of partnership and shared goals”
Foreign Minister Mr. Fuad Hussein delivered the speech of Iraq at the webinar on the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons during the pandemic, and called for coordinating efforts and finding sustainable financing to meet the challenges associated with the Coronavirus regarding the countries hosting refugees and displaced persons, especially in Iraq’s case due to the fall in oil prices.
Stressing that the government pledges to use all the capabilities of the state to combat the Coronavirus, and that it has placed the protection of migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees in camps and shelters as a top priority.
And added that “ Priorities of action, and strategic objectives should address the roots of vulnerability to such disease through measures that foster protection and prevention.
Minister Fuad Hussein added that it is necessary to maintain the mandated UN agencies at the same flexibility it currently enjoys to enable them to meet their commitments and provide advice and assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq particularly in dealing with such risky and infectious disease and social and economic issues that affecting the lives of the vulnerable populations in the camps and shelters.
This came during the participation of the Minister on the condition of the international conference the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Noting that solidarity among affected nations and the unity of the international community are crucial as the virus is a global health crisis, thus, the response must be global through active international cooperation , calling to work in a spirit of human partnership in facing the pandemic, not to look to investing in facing global health risks as a profit.
The Minister thanked all the United Nations agencies, donors that work with the federal government in Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to support the improvement of health facilities and staff capabilities to ensure that people infected receive appropriate and timely treatment in camps and shelters.
The Minister stated that the number of internally displaced persons was: 1414632, Syrian refugees: 247,568, and the other refugees: 41,237.
This conference was organized by the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in coordination with the International Center for Migration and Development Policy to initiate a dialogue between the countries concerned , to identify the effects of the pandemic on refugees and displaced persons, and to strengthen international cooperation in the affected areas.
Iraq participated in the webinar in addition to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, a representative of the European Union, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the former Foreign Minister of Austria, and the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organisation
The Minister was asked a question about the actions of the Iraqi government as it is facing a double challenge between the displaced and refugees, and facing the pandemic.
The Minister replied that: “ the pandemic has spillovers on all aspect of daily life of the refugees and IDPs.
It has deepened the plight of people there because of the stringent measures to protect public health, especially the elderly, children, women and people with special needs.
It has affected the right to work, and the freedom of movement.”
The Minister stated that “ In Iraq, we have taken the following measures:
⁃ coordinating between all stakeholders, government authorities, health actors and security staffs.
⁃ put in place restricted quarantine rules.
⁃ suspending of the deployment of the IDPs.
⁃ coordinating with the UN agencies( UNHCR and WHO) on awareness raising , provision of medical equipment and cash assistance.
⁃ establishing designated quarantine areas and equipped isolation areas.
⁃ enhance the prescribed health protocol in the camps or shelters.
To read the full piece from Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs, click here.