In spite of the challenging security situation and the fact that displaced populations are on the move, WFP has successfully distributed food to more than 438,000 people in 10 governorates across Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the crisis that first hit Mosul in mid-June and spread to surrounding cities and governorates. In recent days, a rising number of Iraqis have found themselves stranded around Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains, fleeing violence. Since 4 August, WFP has set up four emergency kitchens in Dohuk and Lalish, enabling the food agency to assist more than 100,000 people who have fled the Sinjar area.
The Crisis Background
The past week has seen a serious escalation in the conflict in Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh governorate. Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them women and children from minority groups, have been forced to flee their homes in the governorate of Nineveh. The number of displaced people across Iraq is now estimated at more than 1.2 million.
WFP Operations Overview
Before the latest wave of displacements, starting with the violence in Mosul, WFP was already assisting about 240,000 people displaced by conflict in Iraq’s al-Anbar Governorate, as well as more than 180,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria, who are sheltering in Iraq.
The most suitable transport corridor currently is through Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) provinces of Dohuk and Erbil. WFP is looking at alternate transport corridors to facilitate easier access and shorter delivery time. For example, WFP is looking to establish new transport corridors to bring food into Iraq including a southern route through Kuwait.
Aiming To Reach 1.2 Million Displaced People
WFP is rapidly expanding its presence on the ground in Iraq, with a plan to reach 1.2 million people displaced by the recent conflict by early 2015.
Of those assisted by WFP since mid-June, most people (246,520) have received food parcels containing essential items such as rice and cooking oil. Each parcel feeds a family of 5 for one month. Another 59,443 individuals have received emergency ready-to-eat rations that include canned foods and provide relief for 3 days. Additionally, WFP’s new emergency field kitchens have supplied hot meals to 132,120 people since August 4.
Food Assistance Throughout The Country
Most of WFP food distributions for displaced families have taken place in three governorates in the KRG area – Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah – where most of the needs are. WFP has also provided food assistance in 7 other governorates across Iraq: Nineveh, Salaheldin, Diyala, Babel, Kirkuk, Wassit and Najaf. It has also distributed food in shelters and camps outside Mosul city in Nineveh. WFP has acquired a warehouse in Dohuk to store its supplies and is establishing logistics hubs in Baghdad and Basrah to facilitate storage of food and transport arrangements.