Switzerland helps WFP provide critical food assistance and boost people’s resilience in Iraq

WFP

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has today welcomed a US$1.1 million contribution from the Government of Switzerland that will help WFP provide monthly food assistance to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs), Syrian refugees living in Iraq as well as strengthen people’s resilience.

As well as meeting the most vulnerable’s urgent food needs, Switzerland’s contribution will also fund the innovative ‘Urban Livelihoods’ projects. Under the initiative, WFP provides support and training for 135,000 vulnerable people to help them create and sustain long-term incomes through starting small businesses, creating job opportunities, so they can start working again amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic continues to have an impact on the global economy and Iraq is no exception. The devaluation of the Iraqi Dinar also pushed food prices up,” says Abdirahman Meygag, WFP Representative in Iraq. “Switzerland’s contribution is timely. The funding is also helping strengthen urban families’ ability to generate sustainable incomes, while not forgetting the families in crisis who are unable to return home yet.”

Each month, WFP provides monthly food assistance to displaced families and refugees, which is even more vital during the difficult times because of the pandemic.

“Through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland is committed to support vulnerable displaced families that continue to be affected negatively by the pandemic,” says Lukas Gasser, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of Iraq. “This contribution is a step closer to meet Switzerland’s priority in Iraq of meeting the most urgent needs of IDPs and to find a durable solution for displaced affected persons.”

Most of WFP’s food assistance is provided in the form of mobile money transfers, and electronic vouchers, which enable families to purchase the food they need from markets. This year, WFP raised the monthly cash assistance amount for IDPs and refugee families assisted. For sudden displacements or urgent needs, WFP also provides ready-to-eat food packages to support families before they can access a market.

“Switzerland is a long-term partner of WFP, whose steadfast support for years has enabled us to reach families in Iraq in need of urgent humanitarian assistance,” Meygag added.

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