Coronavirus response: Spain completes delivery of medical assistance to Iraq
On Thursday 13 August 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Defence delivered disinfectants to the Iraqi authorities, in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic. A ceremony to this effect was held at the Iraqi air base of Al-Muthana, in the presence of several officials, including Brigadier General Salah from the Prime Minister National Operation Command and the Spanish Chargée d’Affaires, Mrs Mariana Figueroa Sánchez.
This delivery represented part of a comprehensive donation of medical supplies initiated on 26 July 2020. These were handed over to the Director of the Prime Minister´s National Operations Centre, Major General Mohamed Al Shimary, by Mrs Mariana Figueroa Sánchez, during a small ceremony at Baghdad International Airport.
Essential medical equipment consisted of oxygen masks, personal protective gloves, protective gowns and N95 face masks, as well as disinfectants, sprayer pumps and medicines. In conjunction with NATO Mission Iraq, the Spanish Embassy in Iraq and the Spanish Defence Ministry coordinated the delivery of these items to Iraq using two commercial aircraft, following Iraq’s request for 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 COVID 19 pandemic, 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 Mission Iraq was established in Iraq on 1 November 2018 at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Iraq, in full respect of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a non-combat advisory, training and capacity-building mission and contributes to building security and stability, by helping Iraq’s Armed Forces to become self-sustaining and ever more effective in its defeat of terrorism.