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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
31 August 2010

    Overview of WFP activities in oPt
    WFP has been providing food assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 1991. The Country Office is located in Jerusalem, and is supported by an office in Gaza, two sub-offices (Nablus and Hebron) and one port office (Ashdod). WFP employs over 100 staff in the oPt, both national and international.

    WFP currently meets the food needs of the most vulnerable non-refugees in the oPt through three operations:
    1) A Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) in the West Bank (2007-2010);

    2) An Urban Voucher Emergency Operation (EMOP) in the West Bank (2009-2010);

    3) An Emergency Operation (EMOP) in the Gaza Strip (2009-2011).

    A successor West Bank PRRO for the period 2011-2012 will be submitted for approval at the November 2010 session of the WFP Executive board. The PRRO will target a caseload of 454,500 beneficiaries, with a particular focus on priority areas such as Area C and the Seam Zone. Assistance will be provided through the following components: (i) Emergency relief for the destitute; (ii) Livelihood support for vulnerable households (general food distributions and vouchers); (iii) School Meals in the most food-insecure areas, and (iv) a new Voucher-for-Work and Voucher-for-Training component to contribute to and promote self-reliance by preserving agricultural assets to restore livelihoods.

    Following its successful roll-out in the West Bank, the Urban Voucher EMOP will be integrated in the PRRO as of January 2011 as part of the livelihood support for vulnerable groups component in urban and semi-urban areas. The caseload will be gradually expanded to 90,000 beneficiaries by the end of 2011.

    The Gaza EMOP will be running until April 2011. The EMOP currently targets 313,000 non-refugee beneficiaries through general food distributions and school feeding, i.e., 70 percent of the non-refugee population in Gaza, aiming at meeting the immediate needs of the population affected by the conflict as well as improving the food consumption of families and individuals in need. 15,000 beneficiaries are receiving vouchers in urban and semi-urban areas of the North Gaza, Gaza and Khan Younis Governorates. This enables them to access a range of various commodities including protein-rich food (dairy products and eggs) directly from small and medium-sized shop keepers while saving cash for other essential food and non-food commodities.

    WFP thrives to maintain the enrolment of children and enhance concentration levels in schools through the daily distribution of milk and biscuits to 92,000 schoolchildren, included in the total caseload.

    Joint WFP/OCHA Study: Between the fence and a hard place

    Over the past ten years, the Israeli military has gradually expanded restrictions on access to farmland on the Gaza side of the 1949 "Green Line", and to fishing areas along the Gaza Strip coast, with the stated intention of preventing attacks on Israel by Palestinian armed factions, including firing projectiles.

    The study aims at assessing the scope of these restrictions, as well as their impact on physical security, livelihood and access to services. The information and analysis presented is based on over 100 interviews and focus group discussions carried out during March-April 2010, and complemented with analysis of quantitative data available from other sources.

    Since late 2008, Palestinians have been totally or partially prevented from accessing land located up to 1,000-1,500 meters from the Green Line, and sea areas beyond 3 nautical miles from shore. Overall, the land restricted area is estimated at 17 percent of the total land mass of the Gaza Strip and 35 percent of its agricultural land. At sea, fishermen are totally prevented from accessing some 85 percent of the maritime areas they are entitled to access according to the Oslo Agreements.

    An estimated 178,000 people - 12 percent of the population of the Gaza Strip - are directly affected by the access regime.

    The area has suffered from systematic leveling of farm land and the destruction of other private property. The value of agricultural and other property destroyed in the past five years in the land restricted area is conservatively estimated at USD 308 million (replacement cost). Agriculture-related assets include fruit trees, greenhouses, chicken and sheep farms and water wells, and account for 90 percent of this cost. Given that leveling operations usually target fruit trees and green-houses, some farmers have re-planted previously leveled areas with rain-fed crops, which demand less care and have better chances of survival. However, the ability of farmers to harvest these crops is limited and the income is only a fraction of the income of the original crops.

    It has been further estimated that access restrictions and destruction of assets results in a yearly loss of approx. 75,000 metric tons of potential produce. The market value of this produce is conservatively estimated at USD 50.2 million a year. In the fishing sector, the potential fishing catch lost as a result of access restrictions is estimated at approximately 7,000 metric tonnes, with a related income loss of some USD 26.5 million over a period of five years. The erosion of livelihoods has forced affected families to develop a variety of coping mechanisms aimed at generating alternative income and reducing expenditure.

    Download the full report:

    World Humanitarian Day in oPt, 19 August 2010
    19 August is World Humanitarian Day, a day during which the humanitarian community in countries across the world commemorates the aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

    In the Gaza Strip, WFP and OCHA organized an event for the media, only a few feet away from the access-restricted area. WFP and the acting HC seized the opportunity to present the key findings of the access-restricted area study. Other speakers included the Save the Children Alliance, Palestinian Agriculture Relief Committees, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and a former inhabitant of the “Buffer Zone”.

    On this hot morning, humanitarian workers gathered to speak with one voice on the continued suffering of the people of Gaza due to the ongoing blockade. The Red Crescent recalled the daily risks faced by aid workers when trying to reach those in need in dangerous locations like the access-restricted area.

    Selwa Swelim told her story on how she was evicted from the access-restricted area, watching her family house and fruit orchard being demolished by bull-dozers.

    Assessments & Surveys

    The results of the studies and assessments conducted in 2009 have been compiled into a Comprehensive Food security and Vulnerability analysis, which was published in December 2009.

    The 2010 Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey (SEFsec) is currently being carried out in the oPt. The report is expected in September 2010.

    A Food Security Atlas, prepared by WFP in collaboration with the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, was launched in February 2010.

    A study on the access restricted area has been carried out in the Gaza Strip in partnership with OCHA in order to measure the impact of the Buffer Zone on the livelihoods of the populations living in and near the area, as well as quantify the damages and agricultural losses. The report was published in August 2010.

    A study on the impact of the tunnels on the market in the Gaza Strip has been carried out in the Gaza Strip in partnership with OCHA in order to assess the socio-economic impact of the tunnels in relation to the blockade. The report is expected in September 2010.

    A Mid-Term Evaluation for the voucher component of the Gaza EMOP is planned in October 2010, and will guide future programme modalities starting May 2011.

    All assessments and surveys are available on

Requirements and funding in 2010 (in USD)
The 2010 requirements for the West Bank PRRO and the Gaza EMOP have been fully met. There remains a funding shortfall for West Bank Urban Voucher EMOP:

West Bank UVP EMOP 10774.0:90% funded and a USD 850,000 shortfall

The shortfall puts at risk the nutritional gains of 9,263 UVP beneficiary families throughout the month of December.

Requirements in 2011 (in USD)

In view of the required lead time to procure and transport food commodities, the contributions to the 2011 EMOP in Gaza and the new PRRO in the West Bank should be confirmed as soon as possible in order for WFP to enable a smooth transition between the 2010 and 2011 operations.

Governments are the principal source of funding for WFP worldwide; the organization receives no dues or portions of the UN assessed contributions. On average, over 60 governments underwrite the humanitarian and development projects of WFP. All government support is on an entirely voluntary basis.

On behalf of our beneficiaries, we thank our donor partners for their generous contributions to WFP operations in oPt

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