UN cuts food aid to 1.4 million displaced Iraqis

UN cuts food aid to 1.4 million displaced Iraqis
The UN's World Food Programme has said delayed payments from donors mean food rations to Iraqis fleeing fighting against IS have been halved.
2 min read
28 January, 2017
The food rations for Iraqi displaced from Mosul have been halved [Getty]
Food rations to 1.4 million displaced Iraqis have been halved because of delays in payments from donor states, the UN said on Friday.

The World Food Programme confirmed that a 50 percent cut in funds from donors including the United States, Japan and Germany mean families displaced by the war against Islamic State group in Mosul are receiving less food.

"This year somehow we are receiving commitments from donors a little bit late, we are talking with donors but we don't have enough money as of yet," said Inger Marie Vennize, spokeswoman for the UN agency.

"We have had to reduce (the rations) as of this month."

The WFP is talking to the donor countries to secure funds to restore full rations, she added.

"The 50 percent cuts in monthly rations affect over 1.4 million people across Iraq," Vennize said.

The impact is already being felt in camps east of Mosul, where some of the 160,000 people who have fled the fighting in the city since October have sought refuge.

"They gave us a good amount of food in the beginning, but now they have reduced it," Omar Shukri Mahmoud at the Hassan Sham camp told Reuters.

"They are giving an entire family the food supply of one person... And there is no work at all... we want to go back home," he added.

"We are a big family and this ration is not going to be enough," said 39-year-old Safa Shaker, who has a family of 11.

"We escaped from Daesh in order to have a chance to live and now we came here and they have cut the aid. How are we supposed to live?" she said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

Iraqi forces have liberated the east of Mosul with humanitarian workers fearing for the lives of 175,000 people trapped in the IS-held west who are out of aid's reach.

About 3.4 million people have been displaced from their homes in Iraq since 2014, when IS took over large areas of the country and of neighbouring Syria.