Germany and WFP support families in Iraq through resilience, climate change and social protection projects [EN/AR] – Iraq

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together supported 104,500 people from vulnerable communities in Iraq to rebuild their livelihoods after conflict and adapt to climate change, alongside advancing the digitalization of the Public Distribution System for food rations (PDS).

“The thought that people in Iraq in these times still suffer from food insecurity is unbearable to me,” said German Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq Martin Jäger. “Germany is committed to helping Iraqi people build economic resilience given that this is the basis for growth and stability. We are promoting numerous multi- and bilateral programs such as WFP’s Country Strategic Plan to advance food security and will continue to do so. Germany has an interest in seeing the most vulnerable supported, a functioning social security structure as well as a prospering and stable Iraq. ”

Germany is a long-standing partner of WFP in Iraq and contributed EUR 17.25 million in 2021 including for rural and urban livelihoods programs, which also supported 288,100 people indirectly in the communities. Germany is a key donor for the EMPACT (Empowerment in Action) initiative, WFP’s award-winning digital skills, English and entrepreneurship training for youth. In addition, digitalizing the PDS, Iraq’s paper-based food ration card and largest social protection program, continues to help the government assist the right people with the right food at the right time, across 18 governorates.

“Germany is a very important partner of WFP and their multiyear flexible support has helped the most vulnerable Iraqis to reestablish their livelihoods in areas of returns, and enabled us to work with the Iraqi government and partners to introduce smart innovative solutions to help smallholder farmers adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change in Iraq, ”said WFP Iraq Representative Ally Raza Qureshi. “In parallel, Germany’s assistance for urban livelihoods and EMPACT training helped youth and women with vocational skills and small business grants, while funding for digitalization of the PDS is enhancing the government’s social protection for citizens. It is a holistic approach, and we thank the people and government of Germany for the generous contribution. ”

With support from Germany, WFP’s rural development activities helped vulnerable communities with water access, to minimize water usage, manage salinity, and training and tools to be able to plant and grow food, and sell the surplus. It is essential support to confront climate change, and in conflict-affected areas, simultaneously contributes to the UN’s ‘durable solutions’ approach to assist families returning home after displacement. Digitalized PDS systems mean that families can more easily update their data to receive government assistance in their location.

Building on the German support from 2021, in 2022 climate change adaptation is another focus alongside urban livelihoods projects in southern Iraq and Nineveh, which continue with training prioritizing youth and women, including online marketing so they can reach their customers. The approach, as in the EMPACT program, fosters entrepreneurship. As we approach COP27 in Egypt in 2022, Germany and WFP continue to support families to confront climate change. Germany’s partnership with WFP is helping the most vulnerable families to grow sustainable livelihoods again.

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