BAGHDAD – As Iraq emerges from four years of conflict and unrest, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a US$10 million contribution from the Government of Japan in support of recovery efforts. A portion of this contribution will also support Syrian refugees sheltering in Iraq.
Japan’s contribution will enable WFP to scale up income-generating and livelihood activities for 9,000 vulnerable Iraqis. These activities are aimed at restoring agriculture through the rehabilitation of canals and irrigation systems that were damaged from fighting.
“For four years, Japan has been assisting vulnerable Iraqis and Syrian refugees in Iraq affected by ISIL through its Supplementary Budget,” Mr. Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq said. “The US$10 million assistance to WFP comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq amounting to approximately US$100 million. Japan determined to serve displaced and returning people, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development.”
This contribution will also be used to provide seven months of food assistance to 23,000 Syrian refugees living in the Kurdistan region of Iraq through WFP’s electronic voucher programme. Electronic vouchers provide refugees with US$19 per person each month to buy foods of their choice from local shops.
“As the situation in Iraq remains fragile, we need to continue providing assistance to the poorest families, while at the same time building people’s economic independence,” said WFP Iraq Country Director Sally Haydock. “WFP has always been able to count on Japan for support in Iraq and this latest contribution demonstrates Japan’s continued commitment to supporting the country to move forward.”
Since 2014, Japan has supported WFP activities in Iraq by contributing US$60.3 million. These funds have enabled WFP to provide a significant increase in food assistance for the most vulnerable Iraqis and Syrian refugees in Iraq.