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Iraqi Food Distribution Underway - 2003-04-22

More food aid is making its way to Iraqis in need. Laura Keel with the story of how food is being distributed by people in the City of Umm Qasr.

In Umm Qasr, the beginning of self-governance takes shape in the form of a town meeting to determine how food aid will be distributed.

Community leaders and shopkeepers crowd into a small room to sort out the details of getting food to the people.

Najim Abd Mahid serves as head of the new town council.

“The meeting was very, very important and very successful. It’s the first time that we get meeting with them.”

The people here represent a network of small businesses that have served as distribution agents for food rations.

44,000 shop owners throughout Iraq promise to provide large-scale food aid to reach people in need.

According to the World Food Program, it would be a difficult task to have to improvise a network to reach 27 million people in very little time. Instead, it will take advantage of an efficient system that is already in place and is being run by the Iraqi people.

At this stage, each shopkeeper has lists of names to check to ensure that each family in the region receives adequate food rations.

While Najim and his colleagues continue to work out the details, the World Food Program is coordinating the delivery of food aid from Kuwait, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Jordan.