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Iraq crisis is also a hunger crisis

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As war escalates in Iraq, we can expect hunger and malnutrition to as well. The consequences will be devastating, especially if malnutrition strikes small children.

The insurgent army of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has taken over the city of Mosul and other areas. Around 500,000 Iraqis have been displaced.

There are reports of food shortages. If malnutrition takes hold it will weaken the population, especially children. Small children suffer lasting physical and mental damage from malnutrition.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a relief mission to feed 43,000 Iraqis. But they expect to feed 240,000 over the next 6 months and maybe more. The Iraqi government needs their help as the country is overwhelmed by the conflict.

WFP will need over US $ 23 million to provide this food aid. The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. If the relief were just Iraq alone that monetary sum could be raised fairly easily.

However, the latest fighting in Iraq comes along with the civil war in Syria. WFP is trying to feed over 7 million Syrian war victims. Syrian refugees have fled their own country to find refuge in Iraq.

In addition, WFP operations are under a great strain from wars in South Sudan and Central African Republic. So donations will be crucial this summer as hunger threatens more people each day because of these wars.