Ministry of Trade and WFP complete public distribution system digitalization in Najaf

The Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Trade (MoT), in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has successfully completed the digitalization process for the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Al-Najaf Governorate, supporting efficiency and improving services for citizens.

This innovative digital solution replaces the outdated paper system, bringing the power of digital technology to optimize the PDS and enhance user experience. This will allow citizens benefiting from the system to conveniently access and update their entitlements and family information using their personal smartphones.

During the inauguration of the digital process and systems at the PDS branch in Al-Najaf, H.E. Mr Atheer Dawood Al-Ghurairy, Iraq’s Minister of Trade, emphasized the significance of this digitalization initiative. He highlighted that the process ensures inclusivity, transparency, and accountability, and will be implemented nationwide, making it a comprehensive reform. Currently, registration for digital cards is underway in the governorates of Muthana, Kirkuk, Duhok, with Baghdad and Basra scheduled for the next phase.

“This strong collaboration between the Iraqi Ministry of Trade and WFP is a testament to our joint commitment to support the people of Iraq, particularly the most vulnerable and food insecure,” said WFP Iraq Representative and Country Director Ally-Raza Qureshi. “Through this partnership, we are paving the way for more efficient and meaningful changes in government processes, ultimately helping the people of Iraq.”

Reforming Iraq’s social protection system is a top priority at the national level, and WFP supports the government to facilitate the provision of PDS rations to eligible people. By harnessing the power of digitalization, WFP is supporting the necessary reforms to optimize the system.

WFP has actively provided technical support to enhance people’s access to social protection, which is a crucial component of WFP’s strategic assistance to the Government of Iraq, incorporating best practices for optimization. In addition to supplying IT equipment, WFP has prioritized strengthening the capacity of MoT staff through knowledge transfer training. This empowers them to take a leading role in the reform process, ensuring long-term sustainability and self-reliance.

WFP extends its gratitude to the generous support of its donors, including the European Union, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). Their contributions have made it possible to carry out this reform process successfully.