30 March 2020 – Higher Committee for Health and National Safety established to combat COVID-19

Type of Intervention: New Tool / Service / Body, Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Executive Office, Parliament
Intervention Categories: Planning and strategy; Creating and using advisory groups or committees
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Cabinet

Overview: Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi chaired the first meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety. The Committee was established by the order of Cabinet on 26 March to direct and coordinate Iraq’s national efforts to combat Covid-19.
The Committee is mandated with setting out policies, and adopting the necessary measures to contain Covid-19. It will also coordinate with the Council of Representatives (Parliament), the judicial authorities, as well as relevant international organisations.

The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister, includes several ministers, the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, the National Security Adviser, and a number of other officials.

The committee received a briefing from the Minister of Health on the latest pandemic developments. The Committee discussed a number of proposed additional measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, including the proposal to grant an amnesty to certain prisoners, and procedures to facilitate the entry of goods and foodstuff through Iraq’s border crossings. The Committee also discussed the economic impact of Covid-19 on Iraqis and the necessary mechanisms to support citizens at this time. Committee to announce its final decisions in relation to these measures at a later date.
Full details here: https://gds.gov.iq/prime-minister-chairs-first-meeting-of-higher-committee-for-health-and-national-safety/

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Perception of an increased threat
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – government
Evidence/Justification: A decision was made by Cabinet to establish the Committee to direct and coordinate Iraq’s national efforts to combat Covid-19. The move was seen as necessary as part of a coordinated response to addressing the pandemic crisis.