Baghdad, 18 May 2022 (TDI): $10.1 million in assistance is required to feed the Syrian refugees living in camps in Iraq. The families living in refugee camps face an acute level of food security.

These statistics were shared by the World Food Program (WFP) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. WFP Representative for Iraq, Ally Raza Qureshi, and UNHCR Representative for Iraq Jean-Nicolas Beuze have issued a joint statement.

The statement by both officials was issued to ensure an uninterrupted supply of cash as well as food assistance for the Syrian refugees.

“These are serious indicators that highlight the urgent need for supporting vulnerable Syrian refugees who are adversely affected by the current economic difficulties in Iraq.

WFP and UNHCR have supported Syrian refugees since the onset of the crisis and continue to do so, yet the rising food prices and reduced purchasing power of people’s income places,” they stated.

“WFP and UNHCR are grateful to all donors for their continued and steadfast support to the most vulnerable families in Iraq and would request their assistance to help ensure that no one shall go hungry in these trying times.”

The situation in refugee camps

Iraq is currently hosting 260,000 Syrian refugees, most of whom reside in the Kurdistan region. Nearly 95,745 people live in camps, while 72,000 depend on assistance, life-saving cash, and food from humanitarian organizations.

According to the statistics shared by the UN, 86 percent of the refugees in camps are food insecure or are vulnerable to food insecurity. Socio-economic shocks follow the dire situation of Syrian refugees in Iraq.

Iraq requires immediate global assistance to overcome the crisis. UNHCR and WFP are currently providing legal support, registration services, and social and educational support to these people.

The devaluation of the Iraqi dinar due to the aftermath of Covid-19 and the rise in food and fuel prices due to the war in Ukraine are the leading causes of food insecurity.

The socio-economic challenges are forcing families to adopt negative coping strategies such as buying food on credit, reducing expenditures on basic needs, child labor, increasing in rate of children dropping out of school, and selling assets to meet necessities.