The UN World Food Programme (WFP) started this month providing emergency food assistance to almost quarter of a million people who have been affected by fighting in Al-Anbar.
WFP assistance will aim to reach 48,000 families for six months. The households include internally displaced and vulnerable people in areas with high concentrations of internally displaced persons due to the crisis.
“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,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq, Jane Pearce.
Since 15 January 2014, WFP has been assisting families in Al-Anbar governorate with food rations including wheat flour, rice and other staple foods, as a rapid response to the conflict.
“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,” Pearce added. “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.”
Increased fighting in Al-Anbar governorate since 30 December 2013, especially around the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, has displaced thousands of families. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced in February that more than 62,000 families had been displaced due to the armed conflict in and around Al-Anbar governorate and were in need of humanitarian assistance.
The Ministry of Displacement and Migration is leading the humanitarian response and has officially requested United Nations support in responding to the crisis, including food assistance. WFP’s response plan is in line with the United Nations strategy. WFP co-leads the efforts of the UN and other agencies in the field of food security and it also leads the humanitarian community’s logistics response.