The U.N. World Food Program warned that its emergency operations in Iraq, which feed about 3 million people, were at risk because donors have only come up with 44 percent of the necessary money.
The Rome-based agency is aiming to provide 73,700 tons of food to 1.7 million extremely poor primary school children, 220,000 malnourished children and their families, 350,000 pregnant and nursing women, and more than 6,000 tuberculosis patients this year.
But the $66 million operation is at risk because it has only received $29 million from donors, the agency said.
"We provide food to those who cannot support themselves — children, women and the chronically sick," said Calum Gardner, WFP's country director for Iraq. "If we don't get more funding soon, we will no longer be able to assist them."
Last year, a Norwegian research group, in conjunction with the United Nations and the Iraqi government, reported that malnutrition among Iraq's youngest children had nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, from 4 percent to 7.7 percent.
A separate WFP food security survey published last year found that more than 27 percent of all children under 5 were chronically malnourished despite receiving government food rations.
In July, "donors again pledged millions of dollars for Iraq's reconstruction, yet we find ourselves dismally short of cash," Gardner said.
Footnote: As commented in an earlier posting on this site, last May Congress easily approved another 76 Billion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan. That boosted the total spent on fighting terrorism since 2001 to beyond $300 billion.
And this bill for the War on Terrorism continues to increase at the rate of $4 - 6,000,000,000 each month!
But there’s no "spare change" available to feed the innocent decimated by this war?
Again let’s compare the figures:
$315,000,000,000 Estimated cost of the War on Terrorism to date
60,000,000,000 Total ANNUAL estimate of Iraqi/Afghan War
37,000,000 Amount needed to feed malnourished children and women (a result of the U.S.-led invasion.)