Humanitarian Response Plan progress
The reports on beneficiaries reached by FSS partners indicates quarterly adequate achievements related to food assistance, while the support to livelihood and cash-based programmes shows no and very little progress respectively.
The pattern of distribution among the three FSS components — direct access to food, cash-based interventions and livelihood support— confirms the leading role of food assistance, with 22% share, although this data does not represent a projection for the rest of the year.
Support to livelihood is the most neglected component, one again.
The RM pilot process for Gaza Strip continued with the second round of the panel gathering. The panel worked on the tuning up and consolidation of the marker for all Gaza Strip related projects in the Humanitarian Response Plan. In addition to define the RM for the projects, this session contributed to increase the understanding amongst all Gaza-based members about the way of using the RM tool, especially with regard to the definition of the adopted variables for the Gaza context.
The pilot exercise of the RM will continue through a review of the process that has been just initiated. This review will identify the way forward.
Food Security Strategy Review
WFP has initiated a Strategic Review of Food and Nutrition Security in the country. The work will be carried out by the Palestinian Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS).
This review aims at providing recommendations for all stakeholders in the food security and nutrition sectors. MAS held consultations with national and international stakeholders including
governmental agencies, the private sector, NGOs/CSOs, international agencies, and donors.
● The quarterly collection of data to feed the 4Ws remains the procedure in place for FSS partners.
● The FSS team started working with the MoA for the integration of APIS functions into a new result-based management software in use at the ministry. The process will result into an advanced database for FSS partners to enter information related to their projects.
With the occurrence of the Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in different livestock farms in Gaza Strip, FSS staff has been working with the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) for monitoring the situation, together with colleagues from FAO offices.
The FSS is following up this issue and is ready to offer any coordination efforts to help in controlling the FMD infection. Current estimates of the FMDS impact in Gaza Strip are as follows:
● 4 FSS general meetings in both WB and Gaza
● 6 ICCG meetings in both WB and Gaza
● 3 MAS workshops on the review of food security strategy
● Second resilience markers scoring sessions in Gaza Strip
● AIDA workshop on resilience in Jerusalem
● Inter-cluster meeting on HPF allocation
The oPt Humanitarian Fund (HF), is a pooled fund also aiming to support the delivery of strategic humanitarian response identified under the Humanitarian Response Plan, while retaining the flexibility to allocate funds to unforeseen events or special requirements. The HF supports needs-based priorities by sectors and geographic areas.
During this quarter, FSS partners worked on the preparation of the criteria and guidelines for the next HF call. They were presented and discussed during the FSS general meetings. These priorities were defined in strict cooperation with the concerned line ministry (MoA), identifying most urgent activities that would have also triggered synergic results for increased benefit for the affected population. The analysis of the needs started from the set of needs and responses defined in the FSS HNO/HRP, and it was narrowed down to the most significant ones, taking into account general criteria usually adopted for the HF in the country. Priority was given to the compounded effects of land&water actitvities.
Inter cluster Emergency Response Plan (Khan Al-Ahmar)
Following the orders issued on February 2017 by the Israel Civil Administration (ICA) against five structures in Khan Al Ahmar Abu al Helu Bedouin community (among others, these included the mosque and four structures owned by one household like a toilet, a storage, a zinc structure and a kitchen), the FSS joined the inter-cluster efforts for ensuring a coordinated emergency response. A scenario was developed (demolitions en masse), and its humanitarian impact and the resulting needs among the people during the first two weeks following the crisis incident were considered too.
From the Food Security Sector side, affected HHs will be obliged to relocate their homes, and therefore they are at risk of losing their traditional sources of livelihood. Demolition and confiscation of agricultural productive assets will amount to an immediate financial loss as well as a threat to the continuation of their livelihood, which will lead to a deterioration of their food security conditions. In case of mass demolition, private properties and food items are expected to be damaged among the members of community. The affected people would rely on humanitarian organisations to replenish their stocks that had been damaged during the demolition.
From UNRWA WBFO
In the first quarter of 2017, UNRWA WBFO assisted a total of 59,002 food insecure refugees in the West Bank including in refugee camps through the Food Voucher program (78%) and the Cash for Work program (22%). 49% of the total reached beneficiaries were female.
Under the Cash for Work program, UNRWA provided subsidies to beneficiaries totaling more than $2.5M. The program benefited female refugees (37%), youth (10.6%) as well as beneficiaries with disabilities (5.2%). During the same period, UNRWA started the process of identifying small-scale infrastructure projects to be implemented under the CfW program, aiming to improve the livelihood of refugees inside the 19 refugee camps.
Under the Food Voucher program, UNRWA provided a total value of $1.4M as cash transfer using the electronic food voucher modality. The program was expanded to target elderly and beneficiaries with disabilities in a number of refugee camps in the West Bank. The participation of female beneficiaries in this program reached 49%.
Furthermore, UNRWA, jointly with WFP, distributed in-kind food assistance to more than 35,000 individuals from vulnerable Bedouin and herder communities in Area C over the first quarter.
In Quarter 1 of 2017, FAO's programmes continued to enhance the resilience and support the livelihoods of farmers and herders throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Notably, March 2017 marked the end of the design phase FAO's on-going technical assistance for the establishment of a livestock market in Al Thahariyya, Hebron Governorate, for which more than USD 380,000 worth of in-kind support has now been delivered with the financial support of the Government of Canada. This market provides herders in the southern West Bank with a formal and centralized point of sale for livestock and related products, allowing them to secure better prices from wholesalers, as well as facilitates systematic health checks of animals by the Ministry of Agriculture, thereby ensuring that a higher quality of livestock is sold to livestock holders and ultimately to consumers of animal-derived products. Follow-up support valued at USD 180,000 will be disbursed in the third and fourth quarters of the year.
Additionally, support to enhance the capacity of the Palestinian government to implement food safety as well as animal and plant health protection measures has benefitted the entire Palestinian
population, contributing to a higher quality, safer and healthier food supply thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Government of the Netherlands and Government of Spain. With FAO's technical support in the first quarter of 2017, a Plant Health Law was submitted to the Cabinet for review and zero drafts were completed for new Animal Health and Food Safety Laws as well as for a Pesticide By-law.
Over the first quarter of 2017, WFP assisted nearly 480,000 food insecure non-refugees in Gaza (51 percent) and the West Bank (49 percent), through both cash-based transfers (42 percent), using an electronic voucher redeemable in local shops, and direct in-kind food assistance (58 percent). Close to half of them (40 percent) were assisted under the framework of the National Food Safety Net in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development. Women and children accounted for 70 percent of those reached.
Insufficient funding forced WFP to reduce by 20 percent the voucher entitlements of 180,000 people in both Gaza and the West Bank. Similarly, WFP's food rations were also reduced for 140, 000 Palestinians across Gaza and the West Bank. Shortages in resources pose significant challenges for WFP to deliver and ensure an equitable level of assistance to all people in need. As of April 1st, WFP has not enough resources to carry forth its food and voucher assistance with the Ministry of Social Development beyond June in Gaza and July in the West Bank. WFP needs urgently USD 19 million to provide uninterrupted and a full basket of food assistance to all people in need, including USD 13 million in Gaza.
From ARA Gaza Strip
In this quarter it was reported that Israeli authorities spray herbicides in the ARA twice a year using light airplanes, and causing large damages for wide areas of field crops and open field vegetables. The FSS is assisting the Plant Production Department (PPD) at MoA in cleaning and validating data. It is expected that in the coming months MoA-PPD will finalize data collection, with FSS contribution in consolidating figures. FSS partners involved in this issues are welcome to contribute.