WFP Delivers Food To Haditha And Al Baghdadi In Iraq’s Anbar Governorate
BAGHDAD - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) distributed today urgently needed food assistance provided by the Government of Iraq to nearly 70,000 people in the besieged cities of Haditha and Al Baghdadi in the central governorate of Anbar.
Lack of steady access to these cities, located some 240 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, has left tens of thousands of people without humanitarian assistance for more than seven months. Haditha and Al Baghdadi have been under siege since March 2015, severely impairing humanitarian access and exacerbating humanitarian needs.
WFP food assistance last reached the two cities in April through a local partner, which distributed ready-to-eat rations to nearly 7,000 conflict-affected people in Haditha.
The Iraqi Ministry of Trade donated 1,050 metric tons of wheat flour, rice, sugar and vegetable oil to help cover the food needs of affected families for one month in Haditha and Al Baghdadi. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) covered the cost of handling, transporting and distributing the food.
“The people of Haditha and Al Baghdadi have been living under siege for many months and are suffering from extreme hunger. Reaching them with life-saving food assistance is a crucial step forward,” said Jane Pearce, WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq. “We are deeply grateful to both the Government of Iraq and the U.S. Government for their generous contributions that will go a long way to alleviate the suffering of many.”
According to WFP’s food security monitoring data, food prices continue to rise in Anbar governorate. In October, the average cost of staple food items increased by 10 percent from September and was exceptionally high in the conflict-affected district of Haditha, among other areas.
More than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq since mid-June last year. In October, WFP reached over 1.1 million Iraqi IDPs across all 18 governorates with food assistance.
WFP is entirely voluntarily funded and relies on support from governments, companies and private individuals to provide food assistance to internally displaced Iraqis. To continue to assist displaced families in Iraq, WFP urgently requires US$59 million until May 2016.
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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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