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Challenges Faced by the Iraqi Health Sector in Responding to COVID-19 - P4H Network

Challenges Faced by the Iraqi Health Sector in Responding to COVID-19

Iraq’s health system has struggled to deal with the COVID-19 emergency since the first case appeared in the country in late February 2020. This report explores the inadequate financing to the health sector as well as a COVID 19 response plan among other challenges in facing the pandemic. It discusses Iraq’s health budget (4.5% of total) which is lower than most Middle Eastern countries and results in poor health services and infrastructure. Public support to hospitals for handling COVID 19 treatment and vaccination has also been lacking.

The study recommends ways in which the Iraqi government can increase investment in the health sector through the appropriation of domestic funding and by soliciting international aid.