Humanitarian Health Action

Iraq health news and feature stories


  • 3 March 2015

    At almost one year polio free, Iraq continues national polio vaccination campaigns

    A national polio vaccination campaign commenced in Iraq on 22 February 2015 aiming to reach 5.9 million children under five years old regardless of their previous vaccination status. In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, children from 9 months to 5 years will also be given a measles vaccine, in addition to the oral polio vaccine.

  • 7 Februay 2015

    Mobile clinics bring health services to communities in need

    In December, 2014, WHO handed over 12 mobile medical clinics to the Federal Ministry of Health of Iraq and the Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan region to support the provision of primary health care services in under served areas housing populations in need. Funding for the clinics was provided by Saudi Arabia. The project forms part of WHO's broader objective of providing a timely basic package of primary and secondary health care services, including reproductive and mental health services, care for people with physical disabilities and patients with chronic diseases, and nutrition services.

  • 22 January 2015

    WHO provides support to hearing impaired children in Iraq

    WHO and the Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan Regional Government have provided cochlear implants to 20 internally displaced and refugee children in Iraq between the ages of 1 and 6.

  • January 2015

    WHO delivers emergency health kits to Dhuluiya in Salah Aldin

    Erbil -- To serve the population that has been under siege for seven months and minimize the challenges they face in terms of limited access to health care and lack of life saving medicines, WHO delivered five basic units of interagency emergency health kits to the Dhuluiya district in the Salah Aldin governorate. The kits, delivered on 8 January 2015, contained medicines sufficient to cover the needs of 5000 people for three months.

  • 6 January 2015

    No Ebola cases detected in Iraq

    Baghdad, Iraq - The Ministry of Health in Iraq, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), confirms that there is no suspected case of Ebola virus disease in Iraq as of 5 January 2015.


  • 11 December 2014

    Eight purpose-built mobile medical clinics arrive in Erbil, Iraq

    Erbil, Iraq – The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have collaborated to deliver eight mobile medical clinics which arrived in Erbil today. These urgently needed clinics will be immediately deployed to parts of Iraq and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The vehicles, flown in from Amman, Jordan, were procured by WHO and have been purpose-built to address the health needs of displaced populations residing in places with limited access to health care services – in camps, informal settlements and urban areas across the country. The clinics were made possible through the support of the Government of Saudi Arabia and are the first of their kind to be brought to Iraq to accelerate response efforts.

  • 10 November 2014

    WHO accelerates winter preparedness plans

    Erbil, 10 November 2014. With the onset of winter and cold-related illnesses such as pneumonia, measles and acute respiratory infections (ARIs), an estimated 1.8 million internally displaced Iraqis dread the next few months and the impact of winter on their lives in the camps and informal shelters. Limited access to health services has increased the vulnerability of the displaced populations, particularly the most vulnerable such as children, elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases, including asthma and other upper respiratory infections. To fill these identified health gaps, WHO has appealed for US$ 23 million to cover cost of essential health supplies and the recruitment of qualified health personnel.

  • 3 November 2014

    As the humanitarian situation in Iraq deteriorates, the health needs of the 1.8 million internally displaced persons in the country are rising, particularly in the Kurdistan Region and Anbar. Mass population movement within the country and from the neighboring Syria poses a risk of potential disease outbreaks such as polio and measles among the displaced people.

  • September 2014

    WHO responding to health crises caused by large-scale population displacements in Iraq

    Intensified conflict has sparked a massive displacement of people across Iraq, posing a wide range of health threats. WHO and partners are responding to this crisis by controlling disease outbreaks, supplying medicines and strengthening hospitals, clinics and the health workforce.

  • 2 September 2014

    Amid ongoing conflict, Iraq completes massive polio campaign for children with support of UNICEF and WHO

    Despite the ongoing conflict, violence and displacement across Iraq, a mass polio immunization campaign succeeded reaching 3.75 out of 4 million children under the age of 5. The five-day campaign 10 - 14 August was organized by Ministry of Health with the support of UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). The campaign comes at a time when the number of displaced children continues to increase and approximately 65 000 internally displaced children were vaccinated in the Kurdish Duhok governorate alone.

  • 21 August 2014

    Saudi Arabia's $49 million donation helps to provide health care to Iraqis

    WHO has received about $49 million from Saudi Arabia for its operations to help the people of Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by attacks carried out by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Many of the displaced people have been exposed to harsh conditions without adequate healthcare services. Paul Garwood, WHO spokesperson in Geneva tells Patrick Maigua that the health sector in Iraq was already facing challenges even before the current conflict.

  • 18 August 2014

    Saudi Arabia supports WHO's response to the Iraq crisis

    Erbil - Humanitarian health services in Iraq have received a much-needed boost through a $US 50 million grant provided by Saudi Arabia to WHO for its response to the health crisis facing millions of people affected by the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

  • 12 August 2014

    WHO responds to health challenges facing people trapped on Iraq’s Mount Sinjar

    The World Health Organization is supporting the delivery of urgently needed health services to people affected by insecurity in northern Iraq, including tens of thousands of children, women and men trapped on Sinjar Mountain and many more who have escaped to safer areas.

  • 6 July 2014

    WHO supports health response for internally displaced Iraqis in Dohuk

    The governorate of Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region has seen its population increase by almost 20% over the past three years, hosting more than half of the country’s Syrian refugees in the country and receiving an additional 200 000 internally displaced Iraqis in June 2014.

  • 5 July 2014

    WHO provides urgently needed health supplies to internally displaced populations in Iraq

  • 27 June 2014

    WHO responds to increasing risk of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases in Iraq

    The current crisis in Iraq presents major challenges for the control of disease outbreaks. As a result of the recent violence and resulting internal displacement of more than 500 000 people to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, there is increased risk of outbreaks due to strains on housing, water supply and sanitation. As the summer season sets in, water insecurity in camps hosting internally displaced persons may also contribute to increased episodes of epidemic diarrhoeal diseases.

  • 21 June 2014

    WHO condemns attacks on health facilities in Iraq

    21 June 2014, Erbil, Iraq – WHO strongly condemns the attacks on health facilities in Iraq and expresses concern about the serious implications of these attacks on medical personnel, patients and health infrastructure.

  • 21 June 2014

    Kurdistan regional government plans measles/polio vaccination campaign

    The Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan region of Iraq and WHO plan to launch a vaccination campaign for measles and polio across the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The emergency campaign, due to be launched on 29 June across the Kurdistan region of Iraq, is in response to the arrival of more than 300 000 internally-displaced persons (IDPs) to the region following the fighting in the Ninewa governorate in northern Iraq.

  • 18 June 2014

    lraq reports critical shortages in medicines

    The Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan region of lraq is reporting critical shortages in medicines and is requesting support from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the provision of urgently needed supplies.

  • 16 June 2014

    WHO responds to deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq

    Erbil – WHO is working with local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of populations affected by the ongoing crisis.

  • 7 April 2014

    First mass vaccination campaign starts since polio found in Iraq

    Amman – Polio vaccination campaigns have commenced in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, aiming to reach more than 20 million children over five days.

  • 16 January 2014

    Briefing on the response to the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries

    WHO delivered a briefing for donors and partners on the health situation and response in the Syrian Arab Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Inputs were provided from countries on the health situation for Syrian refugees in the region including challenges and needs. WHO also identified strategic priorities and needs for 2014


  • June 2013

    Health requirements for neighbouring countries in the Syrian Arab Republic crisis

    The United Nations and its partners have dramatically increased their 2013 humanitarian appeal for the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries to approximately US$4.4 billion. Health requirements in the appeal for neighbouring countries amount to US$242 million, representing 19% of the total. The health aspects of the appeal are restricted to priority life-saving health needs and medicines, and by no means aim to cover all that is needed for comprehensive health care.


Mental health system strengthened in Iraq

28 January 2009 -- IRBIL, IRAQ ¦ Psychosocial and mental health services for people in Iraq with focus on northern governorates are being strengthened through a new project endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Iraqi authorities and funded by The Netherlands.


WHO Resumes Permanent International Presence in Iraq

17 JULY 2008--WHO has upgraded its international status in Iraq and resumed the permanent basing of foreign staff in the country. This move will strengthen WHO's support for the Iraqi government's response to humanitarian crises, healthcare system reform and further reprioritization of its health services.


Iraq needs $325 million for emergency health care

GENEVA/NEW YORK/AMMAN -- The people of Iraq are in urgent need of better health care and their situation is deteriorating by the day. The UN has today appealed for at least $325 million in emergency funds to meet the immediate health, nutrition, water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable populations. Out of this amount, the World Health Organization urgently appeals for $185 million.

The price of better health: an extra US$ 14 per person per year

MADRID/GENEVA/CAIRO -- As the international community gathers to consider the urgent reconstruction needs of Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the World Bank will highlight the requirements for better health in Iraq and an effective health system for the Iraqi people.

A simple but ambitious plan: $20 million to jump start the Iraqi Health System

2 May 2003 | GENEVA/BAGHDAD -- The damage done to the Iraqi health system by years of underinvestment, economic sanctions and most acutely by weeks of conflict is clear to see. Now, the World Health Organization is working to assist in the long process of putting the system back on its feet.

Iraq needs $325 million for emergency health care

GENEVA/NEW YORK/AMMAN -- The people of Iraq are in urgent need of better health care and their situation is deteriorating by the day. The UN has today appealed for at least $325 million in emergency funds to meet the immediate health, nutrition, water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable populations. Out of this amount, the World Health Organization urgently appeals for $185 million.