Iraq’s dismal health situation is testimony to the invasion of the country by foreign forces, including now the takeover of important parts of its territory by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Iraqi people have been the subject of mass executions, rape, torture and, in addition, the destruction of the country’s infrastructure. The international community has been mostly deaf to the needs of Iraqis, who have undergone difficulties much greater that during the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Dr. Margaret Chan, the World Health Organization Director-General stated recently, “The situation is bad, really bad, and rapidly getting worse,” as she launched a new humanitarian plan for Iraq. If they don’t receive appropriate support, 84% of all health projects and centers run the risk of closure before the end of June.
It is estimated that since January 2014, 2.9 million people have fled their homes, 6.9 million Iraqis need immediate access to essential health services, and 7.1 million need easier access to water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. Presently, 8.2 million people in Iraq need immediate humanitarian support.