WFP Food Assistance Reaches Over 1 Million Displaced People Across Iraq
BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided urgently needed food assistance to more than 1 million people across Iraq who were displaced since conflict erupted in mid-June, despite a challenging security situation and the continuous movement of people.
“With the help of our partners, we managed to scale up and expand our assistance to additional areas reaching displaced families who fled with nothing but their lives and who were previously inaccessible,” said Jane Pearce, Country Director of the WFP Office in Iraq. “This month we reached people sheltering in Muthana and Thi-Qar governorates in southern Iraq for the first time, allowing us to cross the one million mark of number of people assisted by WFP.”
Despite the fact that displaced people are on the move and the ongoing fighting further complicates access, WFP has provided food assistance in 13 out of the 18 Iraqi governorates including the three Kurdish Governorates, Erbil, Dahuk, and Sulaymaniyah, as well as Nineveh, Kirkuk, al-Anbar, Diyala, Babel, Wassit, Karbala, Najaf, in addition to Muthana and Thi-Qar governorates.
Around 1.8 million Iraqis have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq since mid-June. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate because of the fighting and many Iraqis are living in precarious conditions without access to food, water or shelter. Some live under bridges or by the side of roads while others live in camps or find shelter in unfinished buildings.
WFP plans to continue to expand its food operation to assist 1.2 million displaced people by the end of the year. The majority of the 1 million people assisted by WFP, received food parcels containing essential items such as rice, cooking oil, wheat flour, lentils, pasta, and salt. Each parcel feeds a family of five for one month. WFP also provided emergency ready-to-eat rations that include canned food for those still on the move with no access to cooking facilities.
Before the latest crisis, 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 fighting in Syria who are sheltering in Iraq.
WFP has been able to scale up its operation in Iraq thanks to a US$148.9 million contribution in July from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that has helped the agency respond quickly and effectively to the humanitarian crisis. The assistance was part of a $500 million donation from the Kingdom to United Nations agencies to assist the people of Iraq.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.
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