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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
23 February 2009

Gaza Crisis: situation as of 23 February 2009


Palestinians have experienced a dramatic decline in their living standards and a regression of the economy due to internal and external movement restrictions, limited control over natural resources, restricted access to local and international markets, limited access of Palestinian labourers to their former work in Israel and low rates of economic production.

The West Bank barrier construction is isolating thousands of people from their land, dividing communities and restricting access to essential services. The restriction on internal movements within the West Bank is contributing to the collapse of an already fragile economy and is threatening the population's food security.

In the Gaza Strip, the situation is the most critical. The food security of its 1.5 million people has been steadily deteriorating since Israeli sanctions in June 2007 including a suspension of all exports, a decrease of imports and tight restrictions on the type of goods permitted to enter through crossings -- frequently closed by Israel on security grounds, citing Gaza-based militant attacks.

WFP Activities

Since 2002, WFP has been providing food assistance to oPt. Its current operation (2007-2009) provides food aid to around 700,000 of the most vulnerable non-refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza. WFP recently expanded the number of people it is helping in Gaza to 300,000 from about 250,000.

WFP also supports the Palestinian National Authority in reducing poverty through productive activities and skills development. Current WFP activities:

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