279,974 people assisted in April 2021
US$4.31 million distributed through cash-based transfers
US$36 million six months net funding requirements (June – November 2021)
In April, WFP provided cash and food assistance to 192,443 IDPs and 70,083 refugees, and 17,448 returnees and people from vulnerable communities through resilience building initiatives. COVID-19 cases across Iraq continued to rise; WFP continued to ensure precautionary measures were in place to help keep people safe. Some additional measures such as curfews and movement restrictions were also introduced by authorities during the month of Ramadan.
A massive fire at Baghdad’s Ibn Khatib hospital occurred overnight between 24 and 25 April, resulting in over 80 fatalities and 110 injuries. The fire started when oxygen tanks exploded in a ward for COVID-19 patients. People assisted by WFP were not affected, however the incident highlighted the need for stronger control measures and better COVID-19 treatment facilities in the country.
WFP visited four camps in Duhok as part of preparations for the new ‘fresh food project,’ whereby WFP will build capacity and link retailers with new opportunities to source directly from farmers, lower their costs, and offer more variety and better prices for fresh food to people assisted. The team collected key information from the camp management, retailers, and held focus group discussions with families in the camps. A second phase of assessments is being planned, before recommendations are made and finalised.
WFP’s Emergency Preparedness Officer met with the Head of Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) in Erbil, to discuss support for Logistics Capacity Assessments, logistics planning and Field-Based Preparedness Project activities and updates.
In Anbar, Baghdad, Duhok, Erbil, Ninewa and Sulaymaniyah,
WFP began the 2021 programme of EMPACT online classes in literacy, ICT and language. EMPACT – ‘Empowerment in Action!’ – helps vulnerable Iraqi and Syrian refugee youth learn digital skills and English, equipping them with vital tools and knowhow for the job market.
In Basra, WFP launched a Call for Partnerships for resiliencebuilding Food for Assets (FFA) projects, to expand operations to help address food insecurity and climate change in vulnerable rural communities.