Iraq: UN sending extra food rations to provide for thousands displaced from Fallujah
27 June 2016 – Expressing concern about the extremely dire conditions for more than 85,000 people who have fled the besieged Iraqi city of Fallujah and its surroundings over the last month, the United Nations food relief agency today said it is sending additional rations to provide immediate food relief to the growing number of displaced.
"The people of Fallujah have been suffering under siege for many months without access to food or medical care. Reaching them now with life-saving food and other humanitarian assistance is the absolute top priority," the World Food Programme's (WFP) Deputy Country Director in Iraq, Maha Ahmed, said in a news release.
"The situation is heart-breaking," she added. "We met a young mother this week who escaped the violence in Fallujah with her new born baby in her arms – he was only 4-days-old when they fled."
Since military operations to retake the city from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) forces began on 22 May, waves of people have fled Fallujah and its surroundings. People are gathering in dozens of small camps where conditions are very harsh and many families are forced to share already overcrowded tents. Others are stranded in the desert or sheltering at mosques and schools.
Through its partners, WFP has so far distributed enough immediate response food rations to feed almost 75,000 newly displaced people arriving at camps in Habbaniya Tourism City and Amariyat al-Fallujah. Each ration contains ready-to-eat food to feed a family for three days.
The agency said that in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, other organizations are distributing additional food that complements WFP rations, making it enough to stretch for a full week. WFP is sending additional immediate response food rations and family food rations from its Baghdad warehouse, an hour's drive from Fallujah, to provide immediate food relief.
In partnership with WFP, the Qatar Red Crescent is preparing to provide cooking utensils and additional family food rations to the families from Fallujah.
More than three million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict since mid-June last year. WFP provides food assistance to more than one million vulnerable displaced across all 18 governorates.
To continue to assist displaced families for the next six months, WFP, which is entirely funded by voluntary contributions, urgently requires $34 million.
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