The war in Iraq has left many civilians trapped and blocked from receiving humanitarian aid. Such was the case in al-Baghdadi, a town in the Anbar governorate of Iraq.
The town was under siege for months by the ISIL terrorists. The Iraqi army, in retaking the town, cleared the way last month for civilians to escape to Baghdad.
But now these Iraqi victims faced another crisis: hunger. Saker, one of those who fled from al-Baghdadi, said,
The militants shot at us and they shot our houses. We walked for four days to get to Baghdad. We left with only our souls. We are very poor, and don’t have money to buy food.”
In Baghdad, Saker and others would get help from the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Along with the Norwegian Refugee Council, WFP distributed immediate response rations for Saker and 18,000 Iraqis.
These rations are ready-to-eat food, packed with nutrients, to give newly displaced Iraqis some quick nutrition. This food does more too. The rations give some hope for those Iraqis who have suffered for months from hunger and fear while under attack by ISIL.
After immediate response rations are finished, WFP provides monthly food parcels to displaced Iraqis. This is when they are registered and settled enough to eat more prepared foods.
Saker told WFP the food csme at the most critical moment. That is the case for millions of Iraqis who are depending on WFP and their partners like the Norwegian Refugee Council for life-saving rations.
Yet these rations, which do so much good, might disappear. Low funding for the WFP mission could lead to 1.8 million Iraqis losing food assistance by May. A WFP report says there is a shortage of US $250 million for the Iraqi relief mission.
WFP depends on voluntary funding to do their life-saving work. With the conflict ongoing in Iraq, funds are needed from the international community to feed the hungry war victims.
Read the full article at Examiner.