Iraq COVID-19 Food Security Monitor Weekly Update - Issue 14, 28 July 2020 [EN/AR]


I. Key Messages

  • The Ministry of Trade announced an USD 212.3 million allocation to pay wheat farmers’ dues, compensating farmers for product marketed at government silos.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has called for negotiations with Turkey to address concerns over the decreased flow of the Tigris River, attributed primarily to the newly operational Alysu Dam.

  • According to WFP’s Hunger Monitoring System, 15.4% respondents, representing around 5.9 million people, were relying on food based negative coping strategies.

II. Overview

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has continued to affect Iraq. As of July 27, 2020, the World Health Organization reported 110,032 cases in Iraq and 4,362 deaths. Since early July, the number of new cases appear to be stabilizing around 2,500 per day. The government continues to enforce partial lockdowns and curfew measures in an attempt to curtail transmission, although three international airports reopened for passenger travel on July 23rd in federal Iraq. Nevertheless, Iraq will be under a comprehensive lockdown during Eid Al Adha, which is set to begin on the evening of July 30th .Despite COVID-19, protests restarted in several provinces, most recently due to power cuts.

Oil prices continued to be closely monitored as the global economic slowdown decreased the demand for oil, resulting in low prices. For Iraq, the oil revenue stream is vital, accounting for 90% of the government budget. Over the past two weeks, prices remained relatively stable, with Basrah light and Basrah heavy oil prices ranging between USD 44 and 47 per barrel.

This Monitor by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank compiles news and information to track the impact of this crisis on food security, with a focus on food availability, access, utilization and stability.