BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rushing food assistance into Iraq’s Anbar governorate as tens of thousands continue to flee fierce fighting in the Ramadi district.
Some 25,000 people received emergency food assistance yesterday (May 21) in Habbaniya, west of Baghdad, and supplies for 15,000 additional displaced people were en route for Amiriyat Al Fallujah. In the past week, WFP and its partners have provided emergency supplies to more than 45,000 people in locations across the affected area.
“Most families escaping the violence in Ramadi are without food, water and shelter and have nowhere to go,” said WFP Representative and Iraq Country Director Jane Pearce. “We are providing them with emergency food but more is needed as they depend almost entirely on humanitarian assistance. We call on the international community to respond quickly to their plight."
• Since the Ramadi crisis started on 10 April, WFP and its partners have now assisted more than 208,000 people with three-day emergency food packages.
• The three-day ready-to-eat rations are designed to meet the dietary needs of people on the move. Each ration includes canned meat, tahini, canned beans and fish, dates and bread.
• WFP is pre-positioning emergency food supplies with partners for distribution in order to assure a continuous rapid response if needs should increase in the coming days.
• On 21 May, WFP completed distributions of monthly food rations to 28,500 people who have cooking facilities in Amiriyat Al Fallujah. These family food parcels include wheat flour, sugar, cooking oil and rice.
• WFP has carried out distributions to people fleeing the Ramadi conflict in Baghdad, Babil, Kerbala, Diyala, Wassit, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, as well as to the newly displaced in eastern Anbar governorate.
• Last year, WFP reached 1.8 million displaced and conflict-affected people across Iraq’s 18 governorates and aims to provide monthly assistance to about the same number this year.
• WFP urgently needs US$108 million to continue its operation in Iraq until October this year. WFP will start running out of food and money for its voucher programme in areas with functioning markets in the coming months if no new contributions are received.
• Due to significant funding shortfalls, WFP since April has reduced the size of monthly family food rations it provides to displaced families outside camps. Families who depend almost entirely on assistance because they live in camps will still receive full rations.
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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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