The specialized UN agency called on donors to increase contributions to help people affected by the crisis in Iraq. Iraq is also home to some 247,000 Syrian refugees.
The World Food Program (WFP) announced today that it will be unable to continue providing aid to more than 150,000 displaced Iraqi and Syrian refugees due to lack of funds.
The specialized UN agency called on donors to increase contributions to help people affected by the crisis in Iraq.
Iraq was invaded by the United States with the support of several countries 20 years ago, and has experienced successive political crises and a drought that has lasted for three years.
WFP regretted that the the lack of funds coincides with the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims observe the fast from sunrise to sunset.
The agency asked donors for 10 million dollars (about 9.3 million euros) to maintain food aid for vulnerable internally displaced persons until June and for refugees until December 31.
Such help would buy the Iraqi government enough time to complete a survey of internally displaced persons in the country to include them in social safety nets, the agency said.
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“There will always be residual humanitarian needs in Iraq and we are now asking for funds for these needs,” said WFP Iraq Representative Ally Raza Qureishi.
The president also warned that “the Climate crisis poses displacement risk in Iraq, It could unleash another humanitarian crisis, this time due to water scarcity, desertification and lack of agricultural products”.
Qureishi said the agency “is forced to make tough decisions” about who to help. “We cannot turn our backs on those in need of essential food assistance, the most vulnerable and those without other sources of livelihood,” he said.
Qureishi said WFP “has intensified communication with the Iraqi government and the international donor community to ensure that means of food distribution are quickly found.”
According to PAM data, the conflict in the country generated 1.2 million displaced persons, while 2.4 million of the 39 million of Iraqis in need of food assistance. Iraq is also home to some 247,000 Syrian refugees.