State of Palestine
Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
The World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) activities in the West Bank and Gaza focus on providing assistance to communities whose ability to buy food has been badly affected by poverty brought about by conflict surrounding the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Though food is readily available in Palestine, food prices are too high for poor families to afford. WFP's work in the West Bank and Gaza also helps strengthen the local economy and Palestine's preparedness for emergencies, as well as helping local people build resilient livelihoods.
What are the current issues in the State of Palestine
The latest national Food Security survey showed that food insecurity in Palestine stands at 33 percent, meaning that 1.6 million people are classed as food insecure. In Gaza, food insecurity levels are at 57 percent, while in the West Bank 19 percent of local people face food insecurity.
Severe restrictions have been placed on people’s livelihoods and movements and recurrent conflict has meant that everyday lives have been severely disrupted, resulting in high levels of poverty. Although food is available, price levels are too high for poor households, so many families are vulnerable to food insecurity.
On-going conflict has brought severe economic disruption in Palestine, particularly in Gaza. At the end of 2014, nearly one in five people in the West Bank were unemployed, while unemployment levels reached 43 percent in Gaza – the highest in the world.
What the World Food Programme is doing in the State of Palestine
Food distributions and school meals
WFP aims to help 566,940 people through food distribution schemes, as well as through other food-related initiatives. These include distributing electronic food vouchers and providing food assistance for training and schools meals. WFP aim is to help people re-establish their livelihoods and to improve food security across communities affected by the conflict.
WFP e-vouchers help the people of Palestine in a number of ways, including:
● Food assistance for more than 160,000 people, plus another 45,000 people assisted by WFP partner UNRWA
● Support for the elderly and for those with health issues for around 14,000 people with two NGO partners
● Water and sanitation assistance for 84,000 people with UNICEF
● Education support for 42,000 students with UNICEF
Strengthening analysis and response
Along with WFP partners, UNRWA and FAO, WFP co-leads the Food Security Sector, which strengthens food security analysis and response and links humanitarian and developmental interventions for the Palestinian Authority. More than 40 organisations participate in the Food Security Sector.
Promoting economic recovery
In the last three years, WFP has injected more than $170 million into the local economy, $100 million of which was through e-vouchers and $70 million of which was through purchasing food from local suppliers, supporting local production and reinforcing the Palestinian economy. WFP activities support 252 local stores in the West Bank and Gaza, providing $772,000 of investments and 485 new jobs in stores and with producers to date.
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