25 January 2022

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (KRSO) signed a new agreement on research into food security, to support informed decision-making on efforts to support vulnerable families in the Kurdistan Region.

An important element of the partnership is training, and helping strengthen the skills and expertise of KRSO staff in food security monitoring. Building on WFP’s successful skills workshops with KRSO in the past, the agreement includes comprehensive training on food security and data analysis, including Kurdistan Region government staff from other departments. WFP experts will also deliver training on key digital solutions.

“Our joint assessments with WFP will help improve understanding of food insecurity among households in the Kurdistan Region,” said President of KRSO in Ministry of Planning of Kurdistan Region Government Serwan Mohamed. “The results will help us plan and provide the most effective food assistance required for vulnerable families.”

This is part of WFP’s ongoing support to the government of Iraq to help reform and enhance the social protection system, to best serve families’ needs. WFP and KRSO signed the Letter of Understanding (LoU) in a ceremony in Erbil. It formalises the collaboration between WFP and KRSO over the next three years.

“Iraq is at a critical time in its development journey, and helping build the social protection system in the Kurdistan Region is vital for families’ wellbeing,” said WFP Iraq Representative Ally-Raza Qureshi. “As a natural next step in our ongoing collaboration with KRSO, our new agreement supports quality research and analysis on food security, prioritising the needs of women, children and the elderly.”

The agreement includes financial support for assessments, thanks to WFP’s partners such as the European Union. Key digital tools, including hardware and software will be provided by WFP to help KRSO establish and improve its data infrastructure. In this way, the partners can maintain expert monitoring and analysis. The results will help support an early warning system, for quick response in the case of a crisis or shock.