View Full Version : Food rationing system failing as Ramadan approaches

09-10-2007, 09:27 AM
Food rationing system failing as Ramadan approaches (http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=74196)- IRIN, 9 Sep.

The monthly food rationing system on which millions of Iraqis depend is not working properly, according to officials. They warn that delays in food deliveries will have a serious impact on those fasting during the upcoming holy Islamic month of Ramadan (beginning around 13 September), when Muslims go without food and drink from dawn to sunset.

“There are many reasons why the monthly food ration system is not working very well,” Muhammad Ala’a Jabber, director of the west Baghdad office for delivering food rations, said. “There is a shortage of food products, the available products are of bad quality and sometimes are expired and there is a delay in delivery to the distribution offices.”

According to Jabber, Iraq’s food rationing system has continued to worsen since an escalation of sectarian violence began in February 2006. But in the past four months, he said, the problem has reached critical levels.


Sinan Youssef, a senior official in the strategy department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, said that about five million Iraqis depend on the monthly food ration programme but only 60 percent of this number is able to avail of it, leaving two million people in dire poverty.


“Unemployment has topped a staggering 68 percent and inflation has pushed up prices by 70 percent since February 2006,” Youssef said. “Most of these families have a daily income of under US$1.8 per day but at least two million Iraqis have an income of less than one dollar per day.”

Ezidin gave examples of how prices have risen. “A year ago we were able to buy a can of powdered milk for children for less than US$0.3 but today - if you find powdered milk in the market - you have to pay at least US$4. This is an absurdity which the government is ignoring, leaving shopkeepers to put up their own prices without any control,” Ezidin said ...