Coronavirus response: Poland delivers additional medical assistance to Iraq

  • 05 Jul. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 06 Jul. 2020 08:18

On 5 July 2020, the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland donated 1,000 litres of disinfectant to Iraq’s health authorities, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This second donation followed a previous Polish contribution of 50,000 masks carried out this past 16 June.

The Polish contingent in the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) coordinated this additional aid-delivery. A ceremony to mark the Polish second donation took place at the Iraqi military base at Taji. Iraqi senior civilian and military officials, Polish representatives, and personnel of the NATO Mission Iraq and of the Combined Joint Task Force of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve attended the event. 

Iraq requested assistance through NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). The EADRCC is NATO’s main civil emergency response mechanism. The Centre operates on a 24/7 basis, coordinating requests and offers of assistance. Since the start of the crisis, the EADRCC has coordinated requests from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and 16 NATO and partner countries, resulting in dozens of offers of assistance.

NATO launched its current Mission in Iraq in 2018, at the request of Iraq and following a decision by NATO leaders at the Brussels Summit. The NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat advising, training and capacity-building mission, conducted with full respect of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It involves trainers, advisors and supporting personnel from Allied and partner countries, including Australia, Sweden and Finland. This Mission builds upon the achievements to date of the partnership between NATO and Iraq.  

Iraq and NATO also share a common commitment in the fight against terrorism. On 4 June 2020, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS held via video conference. He stated in that context that NATO remains firmly committed to support “self-sustaining Iraqi Security Forces, able to prevent the return of Daesh, stabilise their country, and fight terrorism.” The Secretary General also noted the importance of moving forward in close coordination and consultation with the Global Coalition and the Iraqi government.

At their recent meetings held via video-conference on 17 and 18 June 2020 NATO Defence Ministers reiterated their commitment to stepping up our efforts in Iraq, in full consultation with the Iraqi government and the Global Coalition.