Briefly, World Food Program's report on food insecurity in Iraq came out yesterday. See the details here.
Why are they food insecure?
Decades of conflict and economic sanctions have had serious effects on Iraqis. Their consequences have been rising unemployment, illiteracy and, for some families, the loss of wage earners. Iraq's food insecurity is not simply due to a lack of production of sufficient food at the national level, but also a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at the household level. The results of this study suggest that food insecurity in Iraq is a result of many chronic factors and their complicated interactions, amongst which are the following:
Weak infrastructure: as a result of conflict, which has destroyed much of Iraq's infrastructure in many sectors. Water and sanitation in particular continue to undermine the community's ability to recover. An estimated 22 percent in extremely poor districts are dependant on water tankers and vehicles as a main source of drinking water compared to 4 percent in the better-off districts. In addition 18 percent depend on streams, rivers and lakes for their water supplies in the poorer areas compared to 8 percent in the better-off districts.
What are the key elements of reconstruction and stabilization? Not Big Army, but door to door neighborhood checks on electricity delivery, water availability, and trash pickup.