WFP to support Iraq and KRG on technology and data: representative
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on climate change, water management, and food security, its Iraq representative Ally-Raza Qureshi told Kurdistan 24 at the annual Hawler Information Technology Exhibition (HITEX) in Erbil.
A major obstacle for international entities to help us is reliable data. Today, in a letter of understanding, @KRGDIT reiterated support for @WFP_Iraq to tackle poverty. Population Information System is a major project of 9th cabinet to provide crucial data for decision making. pic.twitter.com/08EbfkngRz— Hiwa Afandi (@HiwaAfandi) June 29, 2022
The WFP signed a letter of understanding on June 28 with the KRG's Department of Information Technology (DIT).
Moreover, WFP representative Ally-Raza Qureshi spoke at HITEX and visited the KRG's DIT booth on Thursday to test its latest systems.
"HITEX is a unique conference in Iraq, bringing the latest technology and innovation. The companies that are promoting this technology are a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded innovators," Qureshi told Kurdistan 24.
"Iraq is facing a lot of challenges, and technology is a solution to many of those challenges," he said. "High tech creates connections between different entities between the private sector, academia, universities, and civil society so that solutions to the challenges they're facing can be found."
He pointed out that WFP has worked in Iraq since 1986.
"We carried on our journey with Iraq for a long time. WFP is uniquely placed in the innovation space and especially in the digital space within the humanitarian sector," he said.
We were honored by the visit of @WFP_Iraq to our booth at #hitex2022. They had the opportunity to test one of @KRGDIT’s latest systems that was developed in-house.#GovTech#DigitalTransformation pic.twitter.com/55FhbxzdW2— Dep. of Information Technology (@KRGDIT) June 30, 2022
Now the WFP is working on bringing the latest technology to Iraq for evidence-based projects in agriculture, environment, and water resources.
"We hope to start this in the Kurdistan Region too," Qureshi said.
In January, the WFP signed an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (KRSO) on research into food security to support informed decision-making on efforts to support vulnerable families in the Kurdistan Region.
"We are talking to the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Planning to enhance capacity," Qureshi said. "We work with KRSO, providing them with training and capacity building on social protection, so they can carry out security monitoring."
He pointed out that policymakers cannot make decisions without statistics and data.
"We work with KRSO to build that," he said.
He also said that the WFP is running an EMPACT Program in Iraq to provide "English language skills and digital training to internally displaced Iraqis and refugees from Syria and the most vulnerable communities, enabling them to learn new skills in IT."
Moreover, he noted that Iraq is the fifth country most affected by the adverse effects of climate change, as evidenced by the increase in dust storms and reduced rainfall.
He added that the WFP supports the Iraqi government's goal to reach zero hunger, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The WFP is helping Iraq with programs on food security, climate change, and smart agriculture.
"Today's traditional agricultural practices in many parts of the world consume more water. We must look into climate smart agriculture to use less water," he said.
Welcome to the largest #technology exhibition in #Iraq @HitexTech, showcasing #innovation!— برنامج الاغذية العالمي العراق WFP (@WFP_Iraq) June 28, 2022
Visit #WFP at booth ST27! Hear about #EMPACT #digital skills training & our #digitalisation work on the Public Distribution System for #food rations & single registry of families in need. pic.twitter.com/cAT4IOL0eF
Safeen Dizayee, the head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, underlined that he "welcomed their initiatives to expand collaboration in (the) agriculture sector, water management, and support our farmers" after a meeting with Qureshi on Tuesday.