A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Palestinian Territories, (2) Iraq, (3) Iran, (4) Afghanistan
1) Palestinian Territories
(a) Further to the Haifa suicide bombing on 05 October, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) tightened movement restrictions in the Palestinian Territories (PT). The Gaza Strip was divided in four areas till mid-month with road barriers being opened at random for short periods. Heavy military incursions were conducted in the Southern city of Rafah added to air strikes attacks on the Strip. In the West Bank, temporary checkpoints were set up and security of permanent checkpoints was intensified. Several incursions were conducted in cities of Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm.
(b) Movement of staff was greatly hindered during the month of October. Staff members were restrained from conducting fieldwork and delayed by long waits at checkpoints. Soldiers were also demanding vehicle searches. Although Karni entry point into Gaza was reopened on the 01 October, food deliveries within the Strip were belated and required WFP to negotiate and coordinate with the IDF due to the unpredictable closures between areas. Difficulties in deliveries of commodities were also encountered in the Northern part of the West Bank. Food rations were eventually able to reach all beneficiaries for the monthly allocation.
(c) As the Separation Wall in the West Bank is near completion from Jenin to Qalqylia, its effects on the humanitarian situation are being felt. Affected villages, particularly those caught in an enclave between the Wall and the Green Line, are being deprived of education, health care and food items. Gates are randomly open, restricting movements to those with special permissions. Agricultural lands have been confiscated. Crops have perished due to delays in harvesting and transport.
(d) During October, WFP in collaboration with ICRC and implementing partners distributed some 5,900 tons of food, including wheat flour, sugar and oil, to some 128,500 beneficiaries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through general distribution, food for work/food for training, institutional feeding and emergency relief activities. The Food For Work programme in the West Bank under EMOP 10190.1 has begun, including those activities under the 'Separation Wall project' funded by ECHO. The Coping Strategy Index baseline assessment continued through out the month of October. Letters of Understanding (LoU) have been signed with the Ministry of Social Affairs for implementation of hardship and emergency assistance in the Gaza Strip, with Ard El Isan for implementation of supplementary feeding in the Gaza Strip and with PARC for implementation of emergency assistance in the West Bank. LoUs with CRS, CRIC and Ministry of Agriculture are in progress and being finalized for implementation of emergency assistance in the West Bank and assistance to Bedouins and fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
(e) An anticipated pipeline break for wheat flour in February is expected to affect emergency activities under the Food For Work programme. A more severe pipeline break in March is expected to affect assistance to emergency and hardship beneficiaries.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.
(End WFP Emergency Report No 46).