WFP scales-up food assistance as needs rise in Gaza
EAST-JERUSALEM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Palestine has expanded its operations to reach an additional 12,000 non-refugees in Gaza facing deep poverty and severe food insecurity. The increase, which has been supported by new donor contributions, comes in response to a worrying rise in humanitarian and food security needs in the enclave.
The latest Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey (SEFSec), carried out in late 2018, provides evidence of the worsening food security situation. While all communities are affected, the incidence of food insecurity stands at an alarming 70 percent among non-refugees. Overall, this group accounts for almost 40 percent of the total food-insecure population in Gaza. It is estimated that some 466,000 non-refugees in the enclave are food-insecure.
“In the same way as for refugees, the needs of vulnerable non-refugees should be acknowledged and addressed,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine Stephen Kearney. “Meeting the food needs of all food-insecure families in Gaza is a prerequisite to addressing Gaza’s humanitarian crisis in a holistic, fair and indiscriminative way. Leaving no one behind is crucial to meeting Palestine’s Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating hunger or reaching Zero Hunger by 2030.”
WFP’s additional support will benefit the poorest families whose vulnerability has been exacerbated by a decline in purchasing power which has been caused by reductions and delays in the allocation of national cash-transfers and a persistent lack of job opportunities. Each beneficiary will receive a WFP electronic food voucher with a monthly budget of US$10 to buy the food of their choice in 200 accredited retail shops.
With the additional 12,000 people, WFP will be able to provide food voucher support until early October to a total of 222,000 people in Gaza and 51,000 people in the West Bank. Funding constraints are impeding WFP’s ability to extend assistance to all food-insecure, non-refugee families in need.
” WFP is grateful for the support of longstanding donors but needs new partners to help us meet Palestinians’ fundamental right to food,” added Kearney.
While WFP assistance helps vulnerable people meet their most basic food needs, it also supports the local economy, contributing to the advancement of the United Nations humanitarian, development and peace building agenda.
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