FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 1-2/00 - Iraq

Despite recent beneficial rains prospects for the 2000 cereal harvest in May/June remain uncertain, as extended drought substantially affected planting. Production is also likely to be constrained by serious shortages of essential agricultural inputs. Last year, in addition to the shortage of agricultural inputs, a severe drought and widespread incidence of pests and weeds adversely affected cereal crops. Total cereal output in 1999 is estimated at 1.6 million tonnes, nearly 40 percent below the previous five year average. The drought also caused serious damage to livestock, already weakened by foot-and-mouth disease.
In December 1999, the UN Security Council approved the seventh phase of the "Oil-for-food" programme, from January to June, which anticipates oil revenues of US$5.26 billion, but may be revised upward if earnings are higher, to buy food, medicine and health supplies, and for emergency repairs to infrastructure. Despite some improvement in the overall food supply situation following the implementation of the "Oil-for-food" deal, health and nutritional problems remain widespread in many parts.