The UN World Food Program (WFP) warned that about 3 million Iraqis, including 731,000 displaced people and returnees, are exposed to food insecurity because of the impacts of COVID-19 and drop in oil prices in 2020, the official al-Sabah Newspaper reported Thursday.
“Iraq is still an oil-dependent economy. The global oil price drop and OPEC production cuts had a direct impact on food resources, while the devaluation of the Iraqi dinar affected the prices of some basic food items,” Abdirahman Meygag, WFP’s representative in Iraq, told al-Sabah.
Meygag described the devaluation of the Iraqi dinar as “an additional challenge in times of pandemic when many people have lost their daily jobs and income.” “So the government needs help to address this problem, for example, by providing subsidies for basic foodstuffs and controlling prices,” he said.
The WFP and several other international organizations have been working in Iraq to assist its government in helping vulnerable people cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and other problems in the war-torn country.