BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is assisting Iraqi families returning to their homes in Garma city in Anbar province, providing over 185 families (925 people) with family food parcels to help them as they rebuild their shattered lives.
“Families returning Garma are facing great challenges; much of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed, while many homes and shops have been burnt during the fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. WFP and its local partner are working hard to provide the returning families with the necessary life-saving food assistance they need,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq Jane Pearce.
WFP and its local partner are the first humanitarian organisations able to reach Garma returnees with emergency food assistance after the security situation had made it inaccessible over the past year. The UN food agency aims to provide food assistance for a total of 800 returning families for three months. Each WFP food parcel feeds a family of five for one month and contains essential items such as rice, cooking oil, wheat flour, lentils, pasta and salt.
Qassem Mohammed Ajmi, a 47-year-old father of seven, said at first he was glad to return home to Garma but soon realised he had lost everything there and must start from scratch.
“My shop and house were burnt and we are now staying with friends until I figure out what I will do. We have gone below point zero,” Ajmi said. “The food from WFP is very valuable to me and my family – having it has lessened our suffering.”
WFP has also managed to successfully distribute food assistance elsewhere in Anbar in July to around 140,000 internally displaced people within the governorate.
Since mid-June last year, around 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as fighting continues and many people are living in precarious conditions without access to food, water or shelter.
Before the latest wave of displacements, WFP was already assisting about 240,000 people displaced by conflict in Iraq’s Anbar governorate as well as more than 215,000 refugees from Syria who are sheltering in Iraq.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
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