Ration food cards is one of the most important document in Iraqis' lives. Its a document issued during Saddam's regime after the second gulf war (Kuwait invasion in 1991) to provide Iraqi families with specific quantities of main food substances like flour, sugar, oil, rice, tea, cleaning substances, infant milk and few some legumes. For many years, all Iraqi families had to renew the card annually.
Day by day, the importance of the ration food card increased to be one of the basic documents that Iraqis need in any official business. If any family wants to register their child in school, they have to show the card within the other official documents. If a man and a woman get married, they have to register their marriage at the social court and their families' ration food card should be among the official documents and so on.
After the invasion in 2003, Iraqi government promised to increase the food substances of the card and to import the best qualities. The politicians talked about adding more than 25 food substances.
Seven years after the invasion, the ration food card still the most important document in official transaction.
But, the card lost its basic mission. The Iraqi ministry of trade decreased the number of food substances provides by the card. Now, Iraqi families are given only flour and oil because for many months, the ministry which is renowned for corruption failed in providing the other basic needs like sugar, rice and many other things. In fact, the ministry canceled all other staples formerly included in the monthly rations like tea, cleaning substances, legumes and other things. Moreover, the ministry decided to deprive those whose monthly income is more than two million Iraqi Dinars ( about $ 1700) from their share of the rations because their high income.
I do not have any clue about the future of the ration food card but I hope the government does not use it at the checkpoints because that means each family should allow one member to leave the house everyday.