To address mounting worries over Iraq's lower-than-average rainfall, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has extended its resilience-building program across Salah al-Din governorate, north of Baghdad. This year has seen the country's lowest rainfall in 40 years.
WFP's livelihoods initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with local communities, the Iraqi government, and NGO partners, is assisting over 130,000 vulnerable people in Salah al-Din, as well as Maysan, Thi-Qar, Anbar, Ninewa, and Basra.
According to Ally-Raza Qureshi, WFP Iraq's Representative, Iraq is being affected by climate change which is already dealing with a significant post-conflict load and is also dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP is striving to help affected communities become self-sufficient so that everyone in the country can fulfill their food needs.
In rural Salah al-Din, their cooperation is assisting vulnerable families in securing long-term incomes by developing vital skills and providing them with the necessary tools. This helps people in getting through difficult times.
The rainfall season in 2021 was below average notably in the northern governorates and the Kurdistan Region. This could have an impact on the final yields of wheat and barley, two of the most important crops.
Iraq - "The land between rivers" - has traditionally been able to meet its water needs, which is why the current water scarcity is a cause for alarm. Temperatures are also record-breaking with Baghdad recording its hottest temperature of 52 degrees Celsius last year.