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Canada extends support to vulnerable Palestinians through WFP

RAMALLAH – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a US$1.6 million (CAD$2 million) contribution from the Government of Canada to support vulnerable non-refugee Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Canadian contribution will enable WFP to provide assistance for up to one month and a half for 100,000 of the poorest and most food-insecure people in Gaza and the West Bank through electronic vouchers, or cash-based transfers. Families will be able to use their electronic vouchers to buy nutritious and fresh foods at local retailers. A third of the families receiving assistance are headed by women.  

“Thanks to our longstanding partnership with Canada, we can help tens of thousands of poor families facing acute hardships every year,” said WFP Country Director in Palestine Daniela Owen. “With so much suffering and challenges at their greatest, particularly in Gaza, WFP food assistance is one thing vulnerable Palestinians can count on. We greatly appreciate Canada’s support in making this assistance possible.”

The contribution will also allow WFP to hold nutrition and health awareness sessions for women, men and children receiving food assistance. Participants will attend interactive classes for six months where they can learn about the best practices to prepare healthy and vitamin-rich meals from the food they purchase with vouchers. The sessions have a proven positive impact on participants’ dietary habits such as reducing the consumption of sugar and fried food.   

“Canada recognizes the vital work that WFP carries out in the West Bank and Gaza. As humanitarian conditions deteriorate and more people come to depend on food assistance, WFP is an important partner in meeting the daily needs of vulnerable Palestinians,” said Douglas Scott Proudfoot, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority.

WFP’s assistance programme complements the national safety net for poor families who have exhausted all their resources in trying to cope with a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. Thanks to the support of Canada and other donors, WFP food vouchers cover approximately 60 percent of people’s daily calorie needs and free some of their limited income to spend on other basic needs such as healthcare, water and electricity. 

Under its Country Strategy Plan for Palestine (2018-2022), WFP aims at providing electronic food vouchers and in-kind food to non-refugee families most affected by food insecurity, primarily in Gaza and Area C in the West Bank. People receiving WFP support live below the official national poverty line of less than US$4 per person per day.  

WFP assistance also boosts the local economy through local purchase and electronic food vouchers. Since 2011, WFP has brought more than US$260 million into the Palestinian economy, including US$170 million through the use of electronic vouchers.   

 

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Yasmine Abuelassal, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773170 
Raphael Duboispean, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773160

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Palestine