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Pause in fighting allows delivery of life-saving food assistance in Gaza, but more access is needed, says WFP

GAZA – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) delivered desperately needed food to more than 120,000 people in Gaza during the initial pause in fighting but has reiterated that the supplies it was able to provide were woefully inadequate to address the level of hunger seen by staff in the UN shelters and communities.

“Thanks to the pause, our teams have been in action on the ground, going into areas we haven't reached for a long time. What we see is catastrophic. There’s a risk of famine and starvation on our watch and to prevent it, we need to be able to bring in food at scale and distribute it safely,” said WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Region, Corinne Fleischer. “Six days is simply not enough to provide all the assistance needed. The people of Gaza have to eat every day, not just for six days.”

“Our team recounted what they saw: hunger, desperation, and destruction. People who have not received any relief in weeks. The team could see the suffering in their eyes,” said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP Palestine Representative and Country Director. “This pause offered a window of relief that we hope paves the way for longer-term calm. Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access cannot stop now.”

Here is the latest information on WFP’s operations during the pause in fighting:

  • After weeks of very limited humanitarian aid deliveries through the Rafah border, on November 26th, WFP joined an inter-agency convoy which delivered 7.6 metric tons of food assistance to around 23,616 people in Al-Ahli hospital and surrounding hard-to-reach areas.
  • Since November 24th, WFP has reached 121,161 people in UN shelters and host communities with food, including bread, food parcels, and e-vouchers.
  • During the pause, the convoy also conducted wider-reaching assessments to inform our response, expanded logistics capacities by setting up storage units and safely transported food items across Gaza.
  • On the first day of the pause in hostilities, around 90,000 IDPs in UN shelters received fresh bread sourced from the only currently operational WFP-run bakery, which is operating on an ad-hoc basis. A further 7,545 people received food parcels in host communities during this time.
  • WFP and other partners continue to test the delivery of aid from Jordan as a complementary supply corridor for the Gaza emergency. WFP’s dispatched 51 metric tons of food supplies, including 14 metric tonnes of ready-to-eat food and 37 metric tons of date bars, via seven trucks departing from Amman to Rafah, Egypt, as part of a joint convoy with UNRWA.
  • WFP reiterates that a six-day long pause is not enough to make any meaningful impact. Operations on the ground need uninterrupted and regular supplies of adequate quantities of food and other essential commodities into Gaza.
  • According to WFP’s Research, Assessment and Monitoring team, after seven weeks of inadequate food and water consumption, it is highly likely that the population of Gaza, especially women and children are at high risk of famine if WFP is not able to provide continued access to food.
  • Since the start of the crisis, WFP has reached a total of 825,858 people with emergency food and electronic food vouchers across Gaza and the West Bank. In Gaza, WFP has reached 759,082 people.
  • WFP also leads the Logistics Cluster, that was activated to coordinate the efforts of all humanitarian actors and ensuring a robust logistics set-up to facilitate the transport and storage of inter-agency cargo into and inside Gaza.
  • WFP’s operations both before and during the pause was made by possible by donations from USA, EU, Private Sector, France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, UAE, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Luxemburg, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

 

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Topics

Palestine Logistics and delivery networks Food Security Conflicts

Contact

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo (currently in Amman),
Mob. +20 1066634352

Alia Zaki, WFP/Jerusalem,
Mob. ‪+972 54‑226‑8732

Martin Penner, WFP/ Rome,
Mob. +39 3456142074

Nina Valente, WFP/ London,
Mob. +44 (0)796 8008 474

Martin Rentsch, WFP/Berlin,
Mob +49 160 99 26 17 30

Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York,
Mob. + 1 929 289 9867

Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington,
Mob.  +1 202 770 5993