The Government of Iraq procured food and basic medical supplies in bulk and was responsible for their distribution in the 15 central and southern governorates, and to UN warehouses in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul.
The World Food Programme (WFP) was responsible for food distribution on behalf of the Government of Iraq in the three northern governorates through a chain of some 11,000 food agents (corner stores).
Government distribution of food, by the Ministry of Trade, in the centre and south
was through some 44,358 food agents (corner stores).
Improvements to infrastructure in the food sector included the installation of cleaning, handling and fumigation equipment in grain silos to reduce storage and handling losses.
The maintenance and repair of mills and the installation of generators improved the reliability of flour milling operations.
This in turn improved production capacity and the quality of flour available to the national food basket from more than 140 mills.
The three northern governorates
The size of the food basket increased during successive phases of the Oil-for-Food Programme
and by December 1998, it had met its targeted level of 2200 kcal/person/day. In May 2002, the Programme achieved 91 per cent of the targeted 2,475
kcals. In January 2002, WFP embarked on a large-scale population verification exercise in the three northern governorates to further strengthen the equitability and accuracy of the distribution process.
A supplementary feeding project assisted the most vulnerable members of the population
by targetting the specific needs of malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, hospital in-patients, residents in social institutions and children in nurseries.
These are groups that were not normally reached by the general food ration provided under
Security Council resolution 986.
Other projects addressed household food security.
Small ruminant livestock were provided to around 10,000 beneficiaries, mostly female-headed households.
A beekeeping project targetted another 150.
These projects further empowered women through literacy and technical skills training as well as by providing them with a source of lasting income.
The Programme provided skills training for women in 10,200 female-headed households.
A Women Skills Enhancement project benefitted 2,000 women.