WFP assistance reaches one mn displaced Iraqis

Geneva, Sep 24 (IANS) The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday said it provided food assistance to more than one million civilians 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,” Xinhua quoted WFP office in Iraq director Jane Pearce as saying.

“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,” Pearce added. WFP has so far provided food assistance in 13 out of the 18 Iraqi governorates.

The agency noted the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate because of the fighting and that many Iraqis were living in precarious conditions without access to food, water or shelter.

Around 1.8 million Iraqis have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq since mid-June. The UN agency 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 one 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.

Before the latest crisis, WFP was assisting about 24,000 people displaced by conflict in Iraq’s al-Anbar governorate, as well as more than 180,000 refugees from the fighting in Syria who were seeking shelter in Iraq.

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