The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a donation of US$522,500 from the Government of Switzerland to support the food needs of nearly 24,000 refugees and internally displaced people for one month.
The funds, coming through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, will be used to provide cash assistance to 13,400 Iraqis displaced by the conflict and 10,400 Syrian refugees.
"During the ongoing pandemic, refugees and displaced persons remain among the most vulnerable in Iraq," said the Ambassador of Switzerland to Iraq Lukas Gasser.
"Switzerland continues its long-term partnership with WFP, working together to support displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugee families, to get through this difficult time of heightened need - especially as many affected people remain unable to work."
Due to increased needs caused by COVID-19, WFP has scaled up its assistance in Iraq reaching a total of 76,000 refugees and 280,000 IDPs.
"WFP expresses its continued gratitude for the steadfast support of the people and Government of Switzerland particularly during this difficult time," said WFP Representative in Iraq Abdirahman Meygag.
"Many IDPs and refugee families had begun to achieve some self-sufficiency in securing their food needs before the pandemic. Now many have lost their jobs, among the worst affected are day labourers and seasonal workers."
In ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19, WFP is pioneering cashless payments in camps, so that people can purchase food in a "contactless" manner. This both reduces the need for banknotes, and helps avoid the need for people to leave the camp and move around more than necessary.
Meanwhile, WFP and its partners continue awareness sessions on precautionary measures, and will begin emergency livelihoods projects as soon as it is safe, to help affected people to work again and secure their food needs.