عربي | كوردى

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Minister orders spoiled food meant for displaced Iraqis to be destroyed

2019/02/23 | 15:35

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MOMD) decided on Saturday to destroy large quantities of spoiled food intended for Iraqis in displacement camps.

This came during a tour by Minister Nawfal Bahaa Mousa of warehouses in central Baghdad used by the MOMD for food storage, according to a ministry statement.

Moussa, accompanied by various experts and staff, conducted an on-site inspection and declared much of the food unsafe for consumption. Among the items affected were lentils, chickpeas, beans, and bulgur, all staples of Iraqi cooking.

The team discovered "the existence of four corrupt substances" within food stores "which were supposed to be distributed to the displaced," read the statement. "The items will therefore be taken out and destroyed in cooperation with the Ministry of Health through a committee to be formed from the ministries," that would also determine if any wrongdoing or criminal negligence was involved.

"The problem is not limited to waste because of these damaged materials, but it is also a risk to the safety of the displaced, if they had been distributed the food," said Mousa. "This can not be tolerated."

Some 1.8 million Iraqis remain displaced, mostly in the Kurdistan Region, the majority of them depending, to different degrees, on food provided by government agencies and international humanitarian organizations.

In late January, a mission of international experts organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) visited Iraq to assess the current state of food safety in the nation and, in early February, made recommendations to improve it.

The WHO set up the team in response to an official request from the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment, read a WHO statement. The mission conducted "field visits, meetings and a joint workshop on Food Safety and Quality Assurance."

While touring laboratories of various public institutions and health facilities, they met with a wide range of officials and "assessed the work done in terms of food safety analysis and assessment, lab tests, sampling as well clearance of tested items."

The WHO's representative in Iraq pointed out many of Iraq's shortcomings that stunt effective food safety measures, stressing "the importance of prioritizing the development of a system that involves all concerned sectors to ensure an objective work plan is in place."







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