The cash contribution, by far the largest so far announced in response to a UN $2,200 million flash appeal on 28 March, will be used to procure about 324,000 tonnes of food, enough to feed 23 million Iraqis for one month, USAID said.

‘This new contribution reinforces the U.S. government’s commitment to meeting the humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq through our assistance program,’ said USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios said in a statement. ‘We intend to work hard to continue to increase the Iraqi people’s access to food and health services.’

USAID said that 266,000 tonnes U.S-donated wheat, rice, vegetable oil and other commodities is already en route to Iraq. An additional 400,000 tonnes is available as a contingency option if needed. The U.S. government is providing 590,000 tonnes of food worth approximately $375 million, and $60 million in cash for costs associated with food distribution.