BAGHDAD – For the first time in more than two years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed urgently-needed food for people in and around the northern Iraqi town of Shirqat, 80 kilometres south of Mosul. Until this month, the town was under siege and cut off from humanitarian access since 2014.
Through its local partner Muslim Aid, WFP distributed a one-month supply of food for families in the Khadhraniya area of Shirqat.
“Families in Shirqat are in a desperate need of humanitarian support after being cut off from the outside world for more than two years,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Country Director in Iraq. “Thanks to a major contribution from USAID’s Food for Peace and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, WFP will be able to continue providing support for newly displaced families from the larger Mosul area.”
The people of Shirqat have been living under very harsh conditions, struggling to access water, food, medical services and a functioning local market. WFP distributed rice, lentils, wheat flour, bulgur wheat, beans and vegetable oil for an initial 1,000 people. WFP will monitor the situation and support people in the town and surrounding villages over the coming weeks.
“This latest contribution of US$25 million to WFP continues and reinforces our support to displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis,” said Douglas Silliman, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq. “Now, more than ever, it is important to partner with WFP in Iraq to reach those in need. Since 2014, the United States, through USAID's Office of Food for Peace, has provided more than US$113 million in life-saving emergency food assistance to the people of Iraq."
More than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict since mid-June 2014. In response, WFP has provided food assistance to more than 1 million vulnerable, displaced Iraqis across all 18 governorates.
WFP is scaling up its assistance to support people displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas as part of an inter-agency humanitarian response. To continue assisting displaced families in Iraq until the end of the year, WFP urgently requires US$68 million.
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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 80 countries.
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