The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that due to funding shortfalls it will not be able to continue providing monthly food assistance to 137,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who were being served by WFP in 27 camps. In addition, according to the current funding situation assistance to 38,000 Syrian refugees in 10 camps will seize by July 2023.
WFP conducted a targeting exercise in 2022 to allocate the then-available resources to the most vulnerable families, as the humanitarian response across Iraq has been reduced significantly. The international donor community has generously supported WFP’s life-saving efforts when millions of IDPs and Syrian refugees where in need of assistance due to the conflict with ISIL / Da’esh and then the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the funding shortfall coincides, regrettably, with the Holy Month of Ramadan, WFP is urgently seeking USD 10 million from donors to continue with the provision of food assistance to vulnerable IDPs until June 2023 and refugees until 31 December 2023. This will provide the Government of Iraq with the time needed to complete the survey of IDPs to include them into its social safety nets.
“There will always be humanitarian residual needs in Iraq and these are the ones we are now actively fundraising for. WFP Iraq serves the most vulnerable caseload in the camps. At the same time, the climate crisis risks further displacing people in Iraq, potentially triggering another humanitarian crisis this time triggered by water scarcity, desertification, and lack of agricultural prospects. WFP Iraq find itself forced to make difficult choices on who we assist and who we cannot. As an agency with a dual humanitarian and development mandate, we continue to advocate for the needs of thousands of Internally displaced people and Syrian refugees living in camps and the long-term impactful work that WFP is doing in Iraq,” said Ally Raza Qureshi, WFP Iraq Representative. “We cannot turn our backs to those in need of essential food assistance, those who are most vulnerable and have no other source of livelihood. We have intensified our communication with the Government of Iraq and the International donor community to ensure that means to provide food are found urgently, especially since the cessation of assistance to IDPs is coinciding with the Holy month of Ramadan.”
WFP remains a major partner to the Government of Iraq and has been providing assistance to the humanitarian crisis since its onset in 2014. Currently the World Food Programme is engaged with long-term sustainable development programmes that aim to address the root causes for food insecurity and provide practical, achievable and scalable solutions to the adverse effects of climate and reforming the country’s Public Distribution System.