Sunday, 25 April 2021 11:49

Japan supports WFP food assistance in Iraq as COVID-19 pandemic persists

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received a US$6.4 million contribution from the Government of Japan to support nearly 40,000 internally displaced people in camps for five months with monthly food assistance, and a further 15,000 people in urban communities with work projects over a 10-month period.


Japan’s contribution is helping displaced families in Iraq, as well as Urban Livelihoods resilience-building projects, supporting vulnerable people to return to work during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Japan has provided over US$500 million as humanitarian assistance to people affected by the crisis in Iraq since 2014. Additionally, Japan decided this year to provide a new assistance package for Iraq, amounting to US$50 million including this project by WFP,” said Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq Kotaro Suzuki. “I praise WFP’s continuous and tireless efforts to help the internally displaced, and vulnerable people through its Urban Livelihoods initiatives. The Government and people of Japan wish that these projects mitigate sufferings of internally displaced and vulnerable people, especially under the serious impact of COVID-19, and pave a way for peace and a bright future.”

Japan was one of the first donors to contribute to both WFP’s life-saving humanitarian work alongside its development projects in Iraq, helping families rebuild their lives as they returned home from camps. Now, by supporting the Urban Livelihoods initiatives – introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – Japan and WFP are able to help cushion the loss of income suffered by workers dependent on day or seasonal employment as a result of the pandemic and assist them to meet their immediate food needs.

“Japan’s generous support is helping sustain families in camps who are relying on WFP’s humanitarian assistance, alongside vulnerable households in urban areas who need such development projects in their neighbourhoods,” said WFP Representative in Iraq Abdirahman Meygag. “The Urban Livelihoods initiatives mean that thousands of participants can earn an income and cover their food needs. In a changing environment, and as COVID-19 cases rise in Iraq, the support from the government and people of Japan is making a real difference to families’ lives in Iraq.”

Last year, the Urban Livelihoods projects across the country provided nearly 43,000 people with temporary income, and supported and improved community surroundings through planting trees and clearing public parks, cleaning and renovating schools, health centres, orphanages, a centre for the deaf, mute and blind, a central library, and road cleaning and re-painting. Similar initiatives are being planned in 2021.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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