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Conflict in Iraq escalates hunger

Installation of UNICEF water storage tanks in Al Obaidi
Installation of UNICEF water storage tanks in Al Obaidi

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today said it's providing emergency food aid to 250,000 people in Iraq. Conflict in Al-Anbar province between armed opposition groups and the government is displacing more and more Iraqis.

WFP Iraq Country Director, Jane Pearce, says, "Responding to the crisis in Al-Anbar and meeting the food needs of the most vulnerable during such times is a priority of WFP’s mission in Iraq."

Since early this year, WFP has been providing wheat flour, rice and other foods as the conflict has grown. UNICEF is bringing in clean water.

Pearce adds, "The families who have been displaced as a result of the crisis do not have access to their regular Public Distribution System (PDS) entitlements as they can only receive the food assistance in the location where they have been registered in the programme. While the Ministry of Trade has announced it intends to address this problem, WFP’s assistance is crucial for affected families until this problem is solved.”

Iraq is not only contending with its own internal conflict, but is also hosting refugees from the war in Syria. WFP depends on voluntary donations for its operations in the Middle East and throughout the world.