UN supplies reach Iraqi town of Qayyarah’s 30,000 people under 2-year siege

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 6 (APP): The United Nations food  relief agency has delivered urgently-needed aid to more than  30,000 people in and around the northern Iraqi town of Qayyarah in  the past week, reaching an area that has been under siege  and inaccessible for more than two years.

The people of Qayyarah had been living under siege for two
years and are suffering extreme hunger with scarce access to  food supplies. Reaching them with life-saving food.

With military action turning towards retaking Mosul,
Iraq’s second largest city, from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the UN Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) had warned that displacement may worsen “dramatically,” and announced preparations to ramp up operations and set up  additional camps.

Last week, WFP and its humanitarian partners assessed the
humanitarian situation in Qayyarah, 60 kilometres south of the city of Mosul, and found that all of the people remaining in the town were in  urgent need of food and other forms of humanitarian assistance,  according to a press release. All of its shops were either destroyed  or closed and food stocks were running dangerously low, with people surviving only on wheat from the recent harvest.

According to WFP, black smoke rises from oil fields surrounding  the town set ablaze during fighting in recent weeks. Safe drinking  water, electricity and medical services remain nearly impossible to  access.

Through its local partners Muslim Aid and Women Empowerment Organization, the UN agency distributed emergency food rations  containing ready-to-eat foods such as dates, beans and canned foods,  to meet families’ immediate needs, as well as monthly food rations  containing rice, lentils, wheat flour, bulgur wheat, beans and
vegetable oil in the past week.

These rations will provide enough food for more than 30,000 people  for a full month. WFP also distributed food to almost 2,000 displaced  people living in camps and with host families in areas surrounding  Qayyarah.

More than three million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict in  Iraq since mid-June 2014. Over the last two years people from the  Qayyarah area fled to camps in Erbil, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din, where  they receive regular food assistance through WFP’s partners, it said.