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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
31 March 2010

WFP Operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Situation Report

Issue n. 21
1-31 March 2010

WFP operations in oPt

WFP has been providing food assistance to the 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’s PRRO (Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation) started in September 2007 to meet the food needs of the most vulnerable nonrefugees; it has covered both the West Bank and Gaza till December 08. Since January 09, following Operation ‘Cast Lead’ and the launch of WFP’s Emergency Operation Lifeline Gaza (EMOP—see below), it has been assisting beneficiaries in the West Bank only. The PRRO consists of four main interventions:

(i) Emergency relief for the destitute (in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA); (ii) Livelihood support for vulnerable households (poor farmers, unemployed workers and vulnerable women most affected by poverty and who have only partial means to cope with food insecurity); (iii) School Meals in the most food-insecure areas through cash-for-work activities, (nutritious snacks are prepared by bakeries and women centres which receive food commodities and cash from WFP); and (iv) Food-for-Work and Food-for-Training to contribute to and promote selfreliance by preserving agricultural assets to restore livelihoods.

To respond to the high food prices, WFP launched in April 2009 a Food Voucher EMOP in the West Bank covering approximately 5,500 families in urban areas, selected on the basis of two key studies conducted in 2008 (Safety Net Mission and Rapid Joint Food Security Assessment).

Following the military operation in Gaza, two new operations were launched in January 2009: the EMOP Operation Lifeline Gaza and the Logistics Cluster Special Operation (SO). The EMOP targets 365,000 beneficiaries through general food distribution and school feeding, i.e., 80 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 areas of North Gaza, Gaza and Khan Younis. 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 also thrives to maintain the enrolment of children in schools through the daily distribution of milk and biscuits to 92,000 schoolchildren.

Operational Update

In March 2010, WFP delivered 4,772 mt of food commodities in the Gaza Strip and was able to distribute 2,954 mt of food to 131,343 beneficiaries in cooperation with CHF, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

15,421 beneficiaries received vouchers in collaboration with Oxfam GB.

In the West Bank, WFP delivered 4,450 mt of food commodities during the reporting period and distributed 4,236 mt to 208,123 beneficiaries in cooperation with MoEHE, MSA, CRS and CHF.

Urban vouchers have been distributed to 32,724 beneficiaries, in collaboration with CRS and ACF.

The number of trucks-per-day entering the Gaza Strip increased from 84 in November to an average of 100 in March (Kerem Shalom), but well below the operating capacity of 150 per day. 84 percent of the trucks are private.

With the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, only basic humanitarian supplies are allowed to enter the Strip. The blockade continues to disable Logistic Cluster members to deliver the needed relief, recovery and reconstruction items.

Gaza Buffer Zone Rapid Assessment

The so-called Buffer Zone is a military no-go area that extends along the northern and eastern perimeter of the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, inside Palestinian territory.

The Buffer Zone in Gaza was agreed upon as a security arrangement in the 1995 Palestinian-Israeli Interim Agreement.

Initially, the zone was a 50m wide no-go area for Palestinians living in Gaza, along the northern and eastern border with Israel, and the Southern border with Egypt.

Following the second Intifada in 2000, the Buffer Zone was expanded 150m wide. However, in practice the precise extent of the “no-go” area near the border, typically enforced by the IDF through live fire, is unknown in several governorates. At sea, the access restriction is officially maintained at 3 nautical miles from the shore since early 2009.

Close to 40 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land is located in the Buffer Zone. Because of the access restrictions, many people have had to leave their (destroyed) homes in or near the Buffer Zone in order to relocate to safer areas, and at the same time give up on their only livelihood, farming. As such, farmers
who live near the border fence have seen their greenhouses, orchards and fields destroyed, and access in the ”nogo border area” (in addition to the Buffer Zone) further reduced.

In March 2010, WFP and OCHA launched a Food Security assessment in the Buffer Zone in order to assess its impact of the on the food security situation of the people living in proximity of the area as well as numerous protection related aspects. More specifically, the rapid assessment will help:

-Determine structural changes in the agricultural sector due to access and its effects on agricultural production;

-Quantify the losses in agricultural output as a consequence;

-Determine the vulnerability of the population living near or inside the buffer zone and its impact on food security;

-Create a baseline against which progressive restrictions in access to land and their impact can be measured over time, and;

-Measure the short and long term impact of the expansion of the ”nogo border area” on land use, planning and natural resources management.

The results and final report are expected in May 2010.

Ongoing and upcoming assessments

WFP, FAO and PCBS have carried out a quantitative socio-economic and food security survey (SEFSec) in the oPt in 2009. The final reports are available on the WFP and OCHA websites. The 2010 SEFSec for the West Bank is currently ongoing.

The results are combined with a Market Study. The last one was carried out in Gaza and the West Bank in August and September 2009 and the report was released in January 2010. The results of the studies and assessments have been compiled into a Comprehensive Food security and Vulnerability analysis, which has been published in December.

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

A Tunnel Survey is being 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.

All assessments and surveys are available on

Food Security and Nutrition Survey in Area C, West Bank

In October 2009, WFP/UNICEF/UNRWA carried out a food security and nutrition survey in the Israeli controlled Area C, which covers approximately 60 percent of the West Bank. The survey is part of a broader inter-agency programme of food security and nutrition monitoring, providing protection and assistance to herding and Bedouin communities.

As territorial fragmentation continues in the West Bank, livestockdependent communities living in Area C have been affected by subsequent years of dry spells combined with deteriorated range lands. They are facing increasing movement restrictions and their access to range land and natural water resources is severely limited.

To prevent these herding communities from falling into deeper cycles of indebtedness and increased risk of livelihood erosion, WFP and UNRWA launched a joint emergency programme in August 2009. The aim of the programme is to protect and assist 5,200 Bedouin and Palestinian herder families to maintain their livelihood and way of life in the face of political and environmental challenges.

The joint survey has found unusually high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition among the communities. It found that 79% of the surveyed Bedouin and local Palestinian herders are food insecure as compared to the 25% of households at the national level (West Bank). The level of food insecurity for these communities is even higher than in the Gaza Strip (61%).

With regard to nutrition, a wasting, underweight and stunting prevalence was recorded of 5.9%, 15.3% and 28.5% respectively. These rates indicate a poor nutrition situation according to WHO categorizations. These results further indicate a deterioration of the nutrition situation when compared to the available West Bank data from the 2006 Palestinian Family Health Survey.

Inadequate child caring practices, high disease incidence and low coverage of some essential public health interventions predispose the population to increased risk of malnutrition.

Using the Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey methodology (SEFSec), the joint food security and nutrition survey was conducted to establish a baseline to measure the impact of the ongoing joint UNRWA/ WFP project and other interventions targeting this population group.

The report was finalized in March, and can be downloaded on http://

For comments or questions on the content of this report, please contact
Ancel Kats, Reports Officer WFP External Relations,, 00972 (0)546 77 31 28 /

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