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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
28 April 2006


World Food Programme Emergency Report 2006
Issued Weekly by the United Nations World Food Programme
Report No. 17 / 2006 - Date 28 April 2006


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(B) Middle East,Central Asia and Eastern Europe: (1) Occupied Palestinian Territories (2) Pakistan

(1) Occupied Palestinian Territories

(a) There was no improvement in the security climate in April. Hostilities and internal violence continued to worsen throughout oPt with increasing fear of civil war. Security in Gaza remains extremely delicate with continued cases of kidnappings.

(b) WFP is facing increasing difficulties in providing timely food assistance to the most vulnerable and food insecure population in Gaza owing to repeated closure of the goods crossings between Israel and the Gaza strip. The attacks on Karni, and Rafah crossings on 26 April are expected to lead to additional access challenges in the coming weeks. UN National Staff remain currently unable to cross through Erez crossing owing to security procedures still under discussion; UN national staff in the West Bank also faced increased access restrictions.

(c) The food security situation is deteriorating rapidly throughout oPt as a result of the suspension of direct aid and tax repayments to the Palestinian Nation Authority (PNA), intensified closures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since January 2006, Food security affecting non refugees in oPt has increased by 13 percent affecting a further 104,000 people who were previously able to cope. The entire population of the West Bank are affected on a daily basis by these restrictions. Prices of basic commodities are increasing owing to the travel difficulties faced by traders and farmers which are affecting the traditional rural- urban markets.

(d) The current WFP operation which planned to cover the most affected 480,000 food insecure people is currently operating at 90 percent funding covering only 432,000 people (56 percent of the food insecure group).

(e) In response to the deteriorating situation, WFP foresees a 25 percent increase of the current caseload to cover 600,000 food insecure non refugees (covering the most vulnerable 68 percent of the food insecure population).

(f) Avian influenza and fishing restrictions continue to affect the Gaza populations’ access to animal protein. WFP BR to add canned meat/fish to the ration to mitigate the impact of this on the poorest population has been approved.

(g) In Gaza Strip, Cooperating Partners are distributing WFP food received through Karni and Sufa crossings and through local mills after a prolonged closure of crossings which resulted in delay of the timeliness of distribution cycles over the past three months. 7,000 tons of wheat flour orders are still outstanding from the local mills.

(h) WFP met the MSA General Manager for Aid and Rehabilitation in order to reiterate WFPs’ continued commitment to assisting Social Hardship Cases throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. WFP will continue to pursue efforts to mobilise resources for this important caseload.

(i) During reporting period, in West Bank total of 345 tons of WFP food commodities was distributed to 1,143 Social Hardship Cases for Jan-Feb allocations. Distributions for Nov-December allocations, delayed by the closures, are now completed. Some 21 tons of food was distributed through MSA to 966 Social Hardship Cases beneficiaries for Jan-Feb allocation.

(j) Food distributions started for phase II of the Food-for-Work and Food-for-Training (FFW/T) operation. Some 795 tons of food was distributed to 36,558 New Poor beneficiaries. Some 480 tons of food was distributed to 21,708 beneficiaries.

(k) In Gaza Strip, some 1968 tons of food was distributed to 39,706 New Poor beneficiaries completing the Nov-Dec allocations and part of the Jan-Feb allocations. Some 476 tons of food was distributed to 25,908 New Poor beneficiaries. Implementation of WFP FFW/T activities in Gaza Strip is ongoing smoothly despite the deteriorating security situation.

(l) WFP extended LOUs covering assistance to the New Poor caseload for two additional months May-June.

(m) Meetings with CPs were held on several occasions through the month to discuss implementation and changes due closure of crossings, delay of distribution and new funding conditions.

(n) The Institutional Feeding review exercise has started. It is foreseen that to mitigate the current deterioration of the food insecurity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which is now affecting urban areas, WFP will expand the IF programme to include more social welfare institutions in these areas.

(o) VAM produced the sixth market report. The main outcomes of the report: Continued closure of Karni is directly affecting both food prices and the livelihood of the poorest strata of the population, continued deterioration of the vulnerability profile of the food insecure population can be noted; 66,000 Social Hardship Case families are particularly affected by the current situation as they haven’t received their allowance since February.

(p) A total of 3,334 tons of food commodities have been delivered to the Gaza strip, out of which 2,721 tons have been imported through Karni and Sufa. A total of 30 containers have entered Gaza through Karni during reporting period. Deliveries of 1,000 tons of wheat flour through Kerem Shalom terminal have been approved as of 30 April. However, recent bombings on the Egyptian side of Rafah may affect planned deliveries.

(q) WFP attended the interagency advocacy meeting to discuss upcoming advocacy issues over the coming months. WFP, FAO and UNICEF discussed the possibility of a press conference focusing on the deteriorating situation in Gaza Strip in mid May.

(r) A joint meeting was held with UNRWA after WFP received a request for assistance for 30,000 people in the Northern West Bank. These families used to be assisted under the non-refugee programme of UNRWA but UNRWA has decided to pass them to WFP.

(s) A joint interagency programme is being prepared to ensure a coordinated effort in mitigating the effects of avian influenza in oPt.

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