High poverty rates, high prices and precarious livelihoods render one third of all households in the State of Palestine food-insecure. Recent trends in 2012 and 2013 show a polarization of food security; while many households’ food security improved, a larger group fell into food insecurity at alarming levels in 2012 and remained there in 2013. Food insecurity affects 57 percent of households in the Gaza Strip, and 19 percent in the West Bank. Restrictions imposed on trade and access to resources in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip – where the blockade is now entering its eighth year – continue to prevent sustainable recovery and growth of the Palestinian economy.
The 1.6 million food-insecure Palestinians unable to cover their basic expenses are being assisted by the Palestinian Authority, with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East serving refugees, and WFP, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, serving non-refugees.
This protracted relief and recovery operation responds to the recent crisis in the Gaza Strip, and combines ongoing operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to coherently address urgent humanitarian needs and facilitate early recovery and sustainable, longer-term food security for non-refugees by: meeting urgent food needs, enhancing food consumption and dietary diversity, and reinforcing the food security and resilience of food-insecure people under the national social safety net programme; supporting early recovery, reducing the risks of disasters and building resilience through conditional activities with partners and the Government; supporting the school feeding programme and integrating it into the national social safety net; and strengthening government capacity.
The approach used complements ongoing large-scale assistance programmes, ensuring greater impact and flexibility in responding to diverse needs and providing the basis for a more resilient future.