WFP Resumes Food Assistance In Iraq’s Largest Governorate, Al-Anbar
Al-ANBAR, IRAQ – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed delivering food assistance in al-Anbar Governorate for the first time since May, targeting a total of 76,000 people with urgently needed food.
This week, WFP distributed the first batches of food to displaced Iraqi families in Ramadi and Heet cities in the war-torn governorate.
These initial deliveries bring the total number of people assisted by WFP in Iraq since mid-June to over 838,000. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate because of fighting. Throughout the country, more than 1.5 million people have been displaced in precarious conditions – many without access to food, water or other basic essentials.
WFP workers spoke to a displaced father of four in Heet en route to Baghdad to seek medical attention for his wife. They fled to Heet in January, escaping violence that broke out in their hometown, Ramadi. He said they were living together in relatives’ homes in Heet, depending on what was available. He described their lives and the situation for displaced people in Iraq as a “tragedy with no sign of hope.”
“The number of people displaced by violence across Iraq is increasing at an alarming rate and access to certain areas is very difficult. WFP and its partners are working around the clock to provide urgently needed assistance to over 800,000 displaced Iraqis in 10 governorates since June,” said Mohamed Diab, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.
“Based on assessments of the food crisis in the country, we are using new routes to deliver food and expect in the coming days to reach families displaced in volatile areas such as the southern region of al-Anbar,” said Jane Pearce, Country Director for the WFP Office in Iraq.
WFP’s operations in Iraq have been rapidly scaled up in recent weeks, thanks to a US$148.9 million contribution in July from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that has helped the agency respond quickly to the humanitarian crisis. The assistance is part of a $500 million package that Saudi Arabia gave to the United Nations 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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