ERBIL, IRAQ – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is launching an initial emergency operation to provide food assistance to 42,000 of the most vulnerable people displaced by conflict this week in Iraq.
WFP has deployed emergency and logistics staff to Erbil in the Kurdistan region to determine further food needs on the ground following the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from Mosul to Erbil and neighbouring areas over the past two days.
In its initial response, WFP will deliver approximately 550 metric tons of food a month support the operation, at a cost of $1.5 million. An airlift of emergency food and other supplies is planned from the WFP-run UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai and another flight with non-food assistance is planned from Brindisi, in Italy.
“The crisis in Iraq is escalating quickly. In some areas on the borders between Iraq and Kurdistan where newly displaced people are arriving, there are reports of unavailability of food in the shops. Meeting the food needs of the most vulnerable groups is a crucial step for WFP’s mission in the country,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq, Jane Pearce.
WFP will be sending its food assistance into Iraq through Turkey to families displaced by the Mosul conflict. Along with the newly displaced, WFP is already assisting about 240,000 people displaced by conflict in Iraq’s al-Anbar region, as well as more than 100,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria, who are sheltering in Iraq.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.