First UN food aid in two years reaches over 30,000 Iraqis

The UN says it has delivered food supplies to more than 30,000 residents of Qayyarah for the first time in two years after Iraqi forces expelled jihadists from the northern town.

Government forces on August 25 pushed the Islamic State group out of Qayyarah, considered strategic for a planned offensive against the jihadists’ last Iraqi stronghold of Mosul further north.

Qayyarah has been “inaccessible for over two years,” the UN World Food Program (WFP) says in a statement.

“The people of Qayyarah… are suffering extreme hunger with scarce access to food supplies,” says WFP’s country director for Iraq, Sally Haydock.

WFP says the food delivered in the past week includes dates, beans and canned food as well as rations containing lentils, rice, flour and vegetable oil, enough to last for a month.

The town is “in a dire state” with “black smoke” rising from oilfields around it that were set ablaze by the jihadists during fighting, WFP says. “Safe drinking water, electricity and medical services remain nearly impossible to access.”


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