In 2007 and the first half of 2008, a sharp rise in agricultural commodity and food prices triggered grave concerns about food security, malnutrition and increased poverty. While the threat of a prolonged food-price shock receded in the second half of 2008, many factors underlying the price volatility are likely to persist, and will require careful management if future food-price shocks are to be avoided. This paper suggests three strategies that, together, could reduce vulnerability to price shocks: (1) strengthen safety nets, improve access to family planning services, and promote education; (2) enhance domestic food production and improve rural livelihoods through increased investment in research and development to increase productivity; and (3) reduce exposure to market volatility through more efficient supply chains and better use of financial instruments to hedge risk. The challenge of food security will require a global response, involving governments, international and regional funding and lending institutions, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the private secto




The Iraq Household Socio-Economic Survey conducted in 2006-07 (IHSES 2007), was Iraq’s first nationwide income and expenditure survey since 1988. Based on the model of the Living Standards Measurement Surveys, it covered more than 18,000 households, collected detailed data on all aspects of household income and expenditure and generated information on a wide variety ofsocio-economic indicators. It also formed the basis for updating the Consumer Price Index (CPI), from an outdated index based in 1990 to a revised index with the base year of 2007.Detailed analysis of poverty, its incidence, characteristics, determinantsand consequences, was undertaken using this comprehensive survey. Under the overall guidance of the Poverty Reduction Strategy High Committee (PRSHC) and a technical sub-committee, a poverty line was defined and adopted by the Council of Ministers. Detailed analysis of IHSES data is documented in the World Bank’s poverty assessment for Iraq, Confronting poverty in Iraq, and informed thenew National Strategy for Poverty Reduction, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in late 2009.




Despite being an oil-rich, lower-middle income country, poverty remains prevalent in Iraq. This rapid review looks at the recent literature on poverty in Iraq and identifies the barriers to, and opportunities for, poverty reduction and eradication.
The literature indicates that:
3.9 per cent of people in Iraq are living in extreme poverty (2012). 18.9 per cent live below the national poverty line (2012), with greater rural poverty than urban poverty. 11.6 per cent of people in Iraq are multi-dimensionally poor (2011).
Poverty is significantly higher among larger households, those with less educated heads, women and the young.
There are high poverty headcount rates in remote, rural, and sparsely populated areas, although urban and semi-urban areas are often host to more poor people than the poorest parts because of the population size.





Every day, Iraq inches closer to hunger. The United Nations estimates that approximately 4.4 million people across Iraq require food assistance. About 30 percent of Iraqis live below the national poverty line, and this number is much higher in the poorest districts. These communities are already struggling with limited resources and basic foodstuffs, a situation made worse by the growing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The country faces a stark and multifaceted food security challenge. In the short term, protracted conflict is generating localized food shortages. In the longer term, inflexible policies and government illiquidity are leading to decreased domestic food production and higher import dependency.
In June 2014, with the Islamic State’s (IS) incursion into Salahuddin, Nineveh, Kirkuk, and Anbar—the breadbasket governorates comprising Iraq’s cereal belt—the country lost the majority of its annual wheat and barley harvests from these areas, which combined contributed over one-third of Iraq’s cereal production. About 1 million tons of wheat was lost in 




10 April 2017 – Warning that deepening food insecurity in Iraq could leave more than half the population facing “unprecedented levels” of vulnerability, the United Nations emergency food relief agency today called for improving nutrition awareness and strengthening social safety nets and livelihoods in rural areas, to avoid a hunger crisis in the country.
In its Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis, prepared jointly with the Iraqi Government, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) also underlined the need to improve access to education, especially for girls, as an important component in the fight against hunger.
[The Analysis] should guide the work of the Government, policy makers, and humanitarians across the country to improve the food security and nutrition status of every Iraqi so that no one is left behind,” the WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq, Sally Haydock, said in a news release

The study – one of the most robust technical food security studies ever conducted in Iraq – was conducted prior to the recent offensive in Mosul and does not capture the food security situation among people fleeing these conflict areas. Data collection was concluded in 2016 and included first hand surveys with more than 20,000 families in urban and rural areas as well as with those who are internally displaced.




The agriculture sector is vital to Iraq’s economy and has been the second largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has escalated armed activities in the summer of 2014 at a particularly crucial time in the agricultural calendar, leading to significant damage and loss to the sector.Harvested wheat, barley and vegetables were lost due to population displacements, looting and the burning of grain bins. Farmers were unable to plant for the next agricultural season. According to a research conducted in March 2016, Iraq has lost 40 percent of agricultural production since ISIL began occupying some of the most important agricultural areas in 2014, with damages continuing from the current armed conflict.In this context, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has conducted an agricultural damage and loss needs assessment across six of Iraq’s 18 governorates – Anbar, Babil, Diyala, Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Wassit. Between December 2016 and January 2017, the assessment collected field data through community-level focus group discussions and key informant interviews.




BAGHDAD – More than half of Iraqi families are at risk of food insecurity and can no longer absorb any further shocks such as conflict or increases in basic food prices, a joint WFP-Iraqi Government food security report said today.
The report, one of the most robust technical food security studies ever conducted in Iraq, warns of unprecedented levels of vulnerability and provides key recommendations to avoid a hunger crisis in the country.
“The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis should guide the work of the government, policy makers, and humanitarians across the country to improve the food security and nutrition status of every Iraqi so that no one is left behind,” said Sally Haydock, WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq.
The study, which was conducted prior to the recent offensive in Mosul and does not capture the food security situation among people fleeing these conflict areas, found that 2.5 percent of Iraqis are already food insecure – a level of need that requires support. Almost 75 percent of children under the age of 15 are working to help their families to put food on the table rather than going to school.
Data collection was conducted hand-in-hand with the Government of Iraq and concluded in 2016. More than 20,000 Iraqi families were surveyed in urban and rural areas, including people who were internally displaced and those living in their homes.







The humanitarian crisis in Iraq continues to be one of the largest and most complex in the world, with over 3 million Iraqis displaced since 2014 and the country hosting nearly 250 000 Syrian refugees. The needs of these displaced populations as well as of Iraqis indirectly affected by the crisis are enormous. According to the 2017 Humanitarian Response Overview, 11 million Iraqis will need humanitarian assistance in 2017. This number includes an estimated 3.2 million that may need assistance with food as well as 1.5 million individuals expected to face severe food insecurity. In response to these needs, humanitarian actors continue to provide life-saving assistance to those most affected by the crisis while laying a foundation for post-conflict development through interventions aimed at early recovery and resilience.
Humanitarian assistance efforts in the first quarter of 2017 were largely focused on the needs of populations displaced from operations to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). From the beginning of operation in October 2016 to 30 March of this year, approximately 368 000 Mosul residents had been displaced. These newly displaced populations, comprised of households that have already exhausted their coping capacities following years of conflict, have primarily sought refuge in camps, where they have had access to vital humanitarian assistance. Approximately 81 000 of these residents who fled have returned to the city, where they have had to contend with the destruction brought about by the conflict as well as wait for markets and services to rebound. That said, already in April, with the consolidation of government control of east Mosul, markets are quickly restarting, to the point that multisectoral cash programming is commencing. However, for the residents of Mosul that remained throughout the fighting, particularly in the western half of the city, ensuring basic levels of access to food has been a struggle, with markets experiencing severe shortages and channels for humanitarian aid cut off.




The 2016 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) was conducted during a new period of socio-economic uncertainty in Iraq. Thus, in addition to providing updated baseline documentation of Iraqi food security, it serves other important purposes, providing primary data for assessing the impact of the recent macro-economic slowdown on household food security, and calling attention to impacts on food available through Iraq’s Public Distribution System (PDS). It also highlights the population’s food security needs given the recent sectarian-driven conflicts that have caused socio-political and economic disorder among communities and large-scale population displacement throughout the country since they began in 2014.
Recent macroeconomic trends and conflict set the context of the 2016 CFSVA Iraq ranks as a middle-income country on the Human Development Index (HDI) with a population of 37.8 million that, according to 2016 estimates, is increasing at a rate of 2.5 percent each year. It is largely self-sufficient in the production of domestic vegetables, fruit and meat, and has been able to meet cereal requirements mainly through imports.