United Nations World Food Programme Iraq Mission

26 January 2004 - 3 August 2004
Military personnel

Since the Gulf War of 1991, the United Nations (UN) had been present in Iraq with the World Food Programme (WFP). After Operation Iraqi Freedom on 2003, there was little internal stability in the country.

In addition, due to the isolation of the country during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, its infrastructure was in a state of neglect. Despite the lifting of economic sanctions and a better wheat harvest in 2003, that year around half of the 26.3 million Iraqis were living below the poverty line and 60% of them were unemployed and dependent on food aid.

Although the situation was not officially one of famine, there were millions of cases of malnourishment. The UN approached the Netherlands and other countries in early 2004 to request they play an assisting role in the WFP mission to Iraq.