In Iraq, intermittent conflict as well as the impact of climate change continue to affect the lives of people. There are currently 1.17 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Insecurity, lack of livelihoods, and destroyed or damaged housing hampers people's abilities to return home. WFP Iraq’s assistance focuses on changing lives, saving lives, and supporting the Government of Iraq with social protection reform, youth empowerment, and combatting climate change towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger. Iraq’s progress on the SDGs has been hindered by the challenges of rebuilding infrastructure in areas affected by conflict with ISIL, climate change, delayed implementation of reforms and inadequate opportunities for youth.
WFP Iraq continued shifting its role from emergency response to resilience building and contributing to long-term sustainable development. This paradigm shift is critical as Iraq is experiencing the adverse effects of climate change (fifth most affected country globally) especially in southern Iraq, which is reflected in reduced rainfall and decreased water levels in the country’s two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) resulting in increased salinity that, in turn, heavily affects agriculture.