The United Nations has suspended health programmes that were benefiting millions of people in Iraq due to a lack of funding, it said yesterday.
The organisation said in a statement that “184 front line health services have been suspended because of the paralysing funding shortfall for humanitarian activities in Iraq.”
The statement added: “More than 80 per cent of general health programmes supported by humanitarian partners are now shut, directly impacting one million people.”
“At a time when the people of Iraq need us the most, we are letting them down,” the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande said.
The organisation said that lack of funding means that half a million children will not be immunised leading to a risk of a measles outbreak and the re-emergence of polio.
The funding shortfall had already led to a sharp reduction in food rations for one million people.
The statement pointed out that “around a third of water, sanitation and hygiene programmes had already been closed and more will suffer the same fate by the end of July.”
The United Nations said that among the other consequences of the funding crisis is that its programmes assisting women and girls who have survived sexual violence would also be cut back.
On 4 June, the United Nations launched an appeal to raise half a billion dollars to cope with the humanitarian crisis in Iraq where the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) has forced more than three million people to leave their homes since June 2014.
“To date, only 15 per cent of this has been secured,” the UN said.
Grande warned at the time that 10 million Iraqis were likely to need life-saving assistance by the end of 2015.