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Due to the serious consequences of climate change in the Basra Governorate and limited access to essential products, thousands of Iraqis are living in a permanent state of food and health insecurity. To respond to these challenges, Action contre la Faim is launching new activities in southern Iraq, where the populations’ needs are significant. The project, coordinated from the city of Basra with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) agency, aims to strengthen farmers’ resilience and food security in rural areas.
Households with little land or no other source of income, homes headed by women or children, and families who have lost their livelihood due to recent conflicts can benefit from the project’s activities. Subsidies for small enterprises include a grant for supporting business initiatives and breathing new life into the local economy. When the existing irrigation channels are cleaned and repaired, better use will be made of existing water sources. In other words, water loss will be reduced and the flow will be improved, so that they reach agricultural land.
To boost agricultural productivity, the Action contre la Faim teams are also preparing to install 50 greenhouses and replace damaged diesel pumps with solar water pumps. Education is an important part of all the programmes being carried out in Iraq. Agroecology training will be provided by Action contre la Faim experts to encourage practices with minimal impact on the environment, including soil management and conservation, water management and conservation, and agroforestry. To improve natural resource management, technical experts will renovate and manage 25 irrigation channels.
By spring 2021, this programme will have improved living standards and ensured more stable sources of income for 1,240 Iraqi families. Currently, Action contre la Faim is one of few organisations present in the Basra Governorate; for over six years now, humanitarian aid has understandably been concentrated in the regions liberated from the Islamic State group in the centre and north of the country. But behind Basra’s natural wealth and oil production are the urgent needs of millions of inhabitants, left to fend for themselves without any government support. It is vital that we provide assistance and protect vulnerable households today to avoid population displacement in the near future.
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