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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
23 August 2002



WFP Emergency Report No. 34 of 2002

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D) Middle East Region: (1) Palestinian Territories

1) Palestinian Territories

(a) The newly appointed Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General, former WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini, travelled to the region to assess the nature and scale of the humanitarian crisis facing the population of the West Bank and Gaza, and to review humanitarian needs in light of recent developments. Heads of UN Agencies in Jerusalem met with Ms. Bertini and her team to brief them on each agencies' activities and Ms. Bertini visited several project sites, including WFP operations.

(b) The curfew regime in the West Bank has now been enforced for a total of seven weeks paralyzing the civilian population and severely hampering the distribution of humanitarian aid and implementation of development projects, such as infrastructure repairs. New checkpoints have hampered the ability of beneficiaries to reach the distribution point.

(c) WFP emergency food assistance is targeting a total of 500,000 people from among the non-refugee population of the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, while the target population is already identified by MSA and NGOs partners, WFP Food Monitors are in the process of accessing and assessing areas and communities extremely exposed to acts of war. Such communities are the Bedouin village, where a number of houses where destroyed during recent incursions and farmers in the Khan Younis area whose agricultural fields were damaged by tanks. In addition, beneficiaries of Terre des Hommes are now being regularly monitored in order to assess the causes of malnutrition found among children under five.

(d) The food security of farmers in Gaza is being severely affected by the destruction of infrastructure and the decrease in availability of farming products. Farmers affected by the destruction of infrastructure are being identified for FFW projects. It has been reported that as a result of the significant decrease in retail prices of farming produce, many farmers prefer not to harvest their crops as the costs of labour and transport will not be matched by market prices.

(e) Between 9-15 August, food totalling 89 tons was distributed to 7,665 beneficiaries in Nablus, Qalquilia, Tulkarenm and Jenin. In the Gaza Strip, distributions continue in Gaza city and the northern sector and in the central and southern sector. 3 tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEB) are being delivered to Terre des Hommes for distribution in their special feeding programmes.

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