Many areas of Iraq are only beginning to recover from devastating conflict. Rising cases of the Coronavirus could be catastrophic for people who have already had so much taken away. But Oxfam health promoters are working together with health services – with hope and determination to protect the poorest families.

People wearing PPE Kirkuk, Iraq Covid 19 response

Oxfam is supporting the Iraq response with personal protection equipment for use in camps and local health facilities. Image: Oxfam Iraq

Oxfam humanitarian staff are providing essential hospital supplies, improving access to clean water and promoting handwashing across Iraq. The team have been sharing their thoughts about the coronavirus, how it is impacting communities across Iraq, and why it’s so important to not lose hope.

Tara Faris, Public Health Promotion Assistant, Kalar, Iraq.

Tara Faris, Public Health Promotion Assistant, Kalar, Iraq. Image: Oxfam Iraq

“The best we can do is to leave a fingerprint of hope and love in society.”

Tara Faris, Public Health Promotion Assistant in Kalar

“As humanitarian workers, we do our best to provide support to the most vulnerable in our communities and the best we can do is to leave a fingerprint of love and hope in our society.

This is a difficult time for us all, but we can continue to support each other in different ways, by following the health advice, preventing the spread of this virus and communicating with our loved ones in different ways. We are all in this together!”

Ali Sadeeq Protection Officer, Mosul, Iraq - Iraq staff Covid 19 response

Ali Sadeeq (Protection Officer, Mosul, Iraq). Image: Oxfam Iraq

“I hope this brings our communities together.”

Ali Sadeeq, Protection Officer in Mosul

“My biggest concern right now is those vulnerable families who are stuck in camps and were already struggling, even before the covid-19 pandemic. With poor services and cramped conditions, no freedom of movement and very little to look forward to.

This is a difficult time for us all and of course we need to stay safe and follow the health guidance. I hope this brings our communities together and we can find ways to support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Handwashing and health information leaflets, Kirkuk, Iraq - Covid 19 response

Handwashing and health information leaflets, Kirkuk, Iraq. Image: Oxfam Iraq

“As a refugee, I also worry about my family in Syria… I hope we will get through these tough times.”

Redab Anwar, Public Health Promotion Officer in Kalar

Redab Anwar - Public Health Promotion Officer, Kalar, Iraq

Redab Anwar – Public Health Promotion Officer, Kalar, Iraq. Image: Oxfam Iraq

“Covid-19 has affected us all, society as well as our mental health and well-being. As part of the Oxfam public health promotion team, I love the work that we do in communities, to improve health awareness.”

“Right now people are anxious and nervous, about the health of their families and when things will return to normal. It is more important than ever to help reduce those fears and strengthen their understanding of preventative measures, and work with our community leaders and local authorities to keep our communities safe. As a refugee, I also worry about my family in Syria; we are all facing difficult times right now, but by supporting each other I hope we will get through these tough times.”

A shepherd reading a hygiene message in Kirkuk City, Iraq - Covid 19 response

A shepherd reading hygiene message in Kirkuk City. Image Oxfam Iraq

“We must fight this with patience and awareness.”

Muntasser Hamid Abdullah, Public Health Promotion Officer, Tikrit

Muntasser (Public Health Promotion Officer, Tikrit, Iraq)

Muntasser Hamid Abdullah (Public Health Promotion Officer, Tikrit, Iraq) Image: Oxfam Iraq

“I am so proud that as Oxfam we are doing our best to support the efforts of the government at a local level, whether it’s raising awareness or supporting the needs of local health facilities.”

“Covid-19 is affecting us all, regardless of race, colour, religion or where you’re from. We must fight this with patience and awareness. As a medic, I appreciate the incredible work being done by our health care workers across the country and remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.”

“What this pandemic has shown clearer than ever before is that we should be investing more in our healthcare and our hospitals. Not missiles, guns or wars.”

Wisam Zaibek, Partnership Coordinator, Erbil

Wisam Zaibek (Partnership Coordinator, Erbil, Iraq

Wisam Zaibek (Partnership Coordinator, Erbil, Iraq)

Thanks to kind support from the public, Oxfam teams in Iraq have been able to:

  • Provide medical supplies for hospitals and camps in the region of Kirkuk
  • Print and distribute health information leaflets
  • Put up 14 billboards and 59 banners with handwashing messages in different local languages
  • Make sure clean water is available in hospitals where testing and isolation for COVID-19 cases is taking place
  • Restoring and improving sanitation facilities at a hospital Jalawla serving 50,000 people in the local area

All donations to our Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal can help us do more life-saving work with vulnerable communities around the world.

Oxfam's coronavirus emergency response appeal

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