World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

One Quarter Of Iraqis Still Depend On Food Rations

One Quarter Of Iraqis Still Depend On Food Rations, Un Agency Survey Shows

Some 6.5 million people in Iraq - about a quarter of the country's population - are highly dependent on food rations, according to a new survey by the United Nations emergency feeding agency, which has launched a multimillion dollar assistance programme to help the most vulnerable Iraqis.

The World Food Programme's (WFP) "Baseline Food Security Assessment," the first of its kind in Iraq, says that of the 6.5 million people, some 2.6 million are so poor that they have to resell part of their food rations to buy basic necessities such as medicines and clothes.

A further 3.6 million Iraqis, 14 per cent of the population, would be at risk of hunger if the rationing system was discontinued, according to the survey. Experts estimate that 27 per cent of all children up to the age of five are already chronically malnourished - and without the rations provided by the public distribution system, that number would increase dramatically.

Even those who receive rations "are still struggling to cope," said Torben Due, Country Director for WFP's operations in Iraq. "Although food is generally available, the poorest households cannot afford to buy from the markets."

Following the survey, WFP launched a one-year, $60 million emergency operation targeting the most vulnerable groups in Iraq. It will be providing 67,000 tons of food to 220,000 malnourished children and their family members (over 1.1 million people), more than 1.7 million primary school children, 350,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and over 6,000 tuberculosis patients.

Despite the sobering new figures, Mr. Due had hopes for the long-term prospects. "Iraq is a country with a wealth of natural resources," he observed. "Once it stabilizes politically and economically it can take care of this portion of the population."

"But until that happens, external assistance will be required."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...
More>>



Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>



Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>