BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a Euro 21 million contribution from the Federal Government of Germany to support vulnerable families across Iraq as well as the digitalisation and reform of the country’s national Public Distribution System (PDS) for food rations.
The contribution is part of Germany’s new multi-year commitment to WFP’s work in Iraq which allows for strong forward-planning to better meet people’s needs following conflict, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. While millions of displaced families in Iraq have been able to return to their places of origin, food security remains difficult not only for the remaining 1.3 million internally displaced persons and 242,000 refugees in the country, but also for a substantial part of the Iraqi population.
“At this time of COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis, access to sufficient food and nutrients is an increasing challenge,” said German Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq Ole Diehl. “Germany is glad to provide 21 million euros in 2020 to WFP to address these needs. Our funding goes towards life-saving, humanitarian activities such as food assistance, as well as towards strengthening the resilience of a substantial part of the Iraqi population in the long run, for example through the innovative approach of digitalising the PDS – Iraq’s largest social protection system. With its strong track record, WFP has proven a reliable partner of the Federal Government of Germany and we look forward to continuing our cooperation.”
The contribution is helping WFP support diverse groups encompassing displaced families, refugees and host communities though food assistance for vulnerable households and job creation initiatives across the country. Initiatives include the award-winning EMPACT “Empowerment in Action” programme for youth.
“We are thankful for Germany’s multi-year commitment to WFP Iraq, spanning up to 2023,” said WFP Representative Abdirahman Meygag. “Germany’s commitment enables WFP to save lives and change lives in Iraq though a holistic approach, from relief and recovery to building people’s resilience as they return to their areas following conflict. Also, this support goes towards WFP’s work with the Ministry of Trade to reform the PDS social protection programme for all families benefiting from it.”
In 2020, WFP launched new resilience activities in southern Iraq, for some of the most vulnerable communities. Germany’s support across the entire country is helping to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the global pandemic on the most vulnerable.