Iraq Public Distribution System (PDS) goes digital

Baghdad, Iraq, 28 May 2019 – The Ministry of Trade launched the first E-distribution supported by World Food Programme (WFP) technology.

After decades of manual, paper-driven and overwhelming food distribution processes, today Iraqi citizens started receiving their food entitlement provided by the government through biometrically protected smart cards.

The event was attended by the Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashem Al-Ani and other senior government representatives, who expressed their enthusiasm around this initiative and were impressed by the national capacities who were well trained to run the distribution independently. The Minister also mentioned that digitising the Public Distribution System – PDS – will eliminate fraud and corruption cases and improve transparency and accountability towards citizens of Iraq.

WFP smart cards are being used to manage citizen’s data and entitlements. The distribution will expand to 10 more locations impacting around 35,000 citizens as part of the trial phase that was jointly launched by WFP and the Iraqi Ministry of Trade to digitise the national PDS, i.e. the biggest social protection system providing food entitlements to 39 million citizens.

WFP will continue to support the government throughout the trial phase, while working simultaneously on citizen’s empowerment through developing a smart mobile application that enables citizens to update their data, and access government services conveniently.

Source: WFP Iraq
Photos: UNAMI PIO/Mazin Abdullah

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