The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that it is partnering with local organizations to provide food assistance to more than 85,000 people across Iraq’s Ninewa Province who are experiencing increased hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Movement restrictions that are helping control the spread of COVID-19 have also prevented many people from earning a living, making it difficult to feed their families. This financial strain has been especially acute in regions that are still struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by ISIS.
“The delivery of this food assistance demonstrates the commitment of the United States to Iraq’s recovery and our concern for the most vulnerable members of society,” said Ambassador Matthew Tueller. “We are proud of our partnerships with faith-based organizations and other local groups to provide life-saving support to vulnerable families amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Assistance to vulnerable families in both East and West Mosul will be delivered through Khaloha Ajmal, a local volunteer group. In Sinjar, USAID has partnered with the Sunrise Organization and Nadia’s Initiative – the organization founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nadia Murad – to meet the urgent nutritional needs of more than 20,000 people. In the Ninewa Plain, USAID is supporting the Assyrian Aid Society and the Humanitarian Nineveh Relief Organization to deliver food baskets to more than 8,000 families from al-Qush to Qaraqosh.
Each basket includes an assortment of culturally appropriate foods – such as rice, beans, cooking oil, tea, and powdered milk – that provide a family of five with enough calories for one month. Beneficiaries also receive information on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities through good hygiene practices and social distancing.
This assistance is in addition to USAID’s ongoing provision of life-saving food aid to the most vulnerable Iraqis through humanitarian food security programs that totaled $33 million last year alone. For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral food assistance and support for public health. Expressing the compassion and goodwill of the people of the United States, USAID has been mobilizing America’s resources to predict, prevent and respond to chronic and acute hunger overseas for more than 60 years – bringing help and hope to more than four billion people. Through USAID and the U.S. Department of State, American taxpayers have generously made available more than $90 billion dollars for health globally since 2009. This money has saved lives, protected people who are most vulnerable to disease, built health institutions, and promoted the stability of communities and nations. Of that figure, USAID has invested more than $1.1 billion dollars since 2009 to prevent, detect, and respond to endemic and emerging health threats, including diseases like COVID-19.
For more information about novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 from the CDC, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html