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2 hours ago
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Government of Iraq have launched the digital ration card conversion initiative.
The first phase of digitization will reach nearly 1.3 million people in Baghdad, Dohuk and surrounding areas.
The program said in a statement to the twilight News that the public distribution system (ration card) is the largest social safety net in Iraq, providing food benefits for almost all residents of Iraq and serves 39 million people.
"WFP provides technical support to the government, which intends to use identification technology and develop a digital database that includes citizen data to reduce transaction time, provide better service to citizens and maximize government resources," he said.
"This initiative ensures the optimal use of government resources, and ensures that every target citizen has access to his or her benefits efficiently and effectively," said Sally Haydock, Country Director and WFP Representative in Iraq.
"We are using the technology era we live in to provide better service to Iraqi citizens through the main social safety net," she said.
With the support of WFP, the Government will move to a digital system where citizens' data is securely encrypted and stored, personal data security is enhanced, fingerprint identification or iris scanning is performed.
This will allow the Government to identify and eliminate duplicate records as well as identity verification using biometric technology when distributing food. The new system replaces the paper-based system in collecting, recording and archiving data.
The World Food Program is also designing a smart phone application called myPDS, which people can use to get their benefits, as well as using it to update their family data - such as marriage, birth or death - through personal smartphones.
"The ministry is seeking to update the data and citizen participation in the modernization process after developing technological solutions that meet the needs of the people," Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Hashem al-Ani said at the launching ceremony.