A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Afghanistan, (3) Occupied Palestinian Territory (Opt)
3) Occupied Palestinian Terrirory:
(a) The resumption of suicide attacks by Palestinian militant factions and increase in military operations by the Isreali Defense Force (IDF) led to the failure of the cease-fire in August and the collapse of the road map in September. The situation was further complicated by the political turmoil within the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government's intent to expulse Mr. Arafat from the country. These new dimensions to the conflict during the month of September have brought one of the highest levels of tension in the Territories since the beginning in the past two and half years.
(b) WFP operations continued as usual without any significant delays. Staff members were required to cancel some field trips due to curfew or extreme situation of insecurity particularly in the West Bank. Access through the checkpoints was given at all times and without any major disturbance to UN staff and vehicles circulating within Gaza and the West Bank.
(c) The first report from the newly implemented Monitoring & Evaluation system has been prepared covering the month of July - August. A number of 116 monitoring field missions were planned by the Food Monitors during the reporting period with a 20% cancellation average due to security related issues, closures and curfews.
(d) A review of beneficiaries for EMOP 10190.1 is in progress. The selection process of the new caseload is near completion. A Letter of Understanding (LoU) has been finalized with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) and Agriculture. Budgets are being refined with other implementing partners including CRS and the national NGO PARC.
(e) The Coping Strategy Index baseline assessment is in progress. Food Monitors are evaluating household use and frequency of negative coping mechanism.
(f) A total quantity of some 1,517.21 MT of mixed food commodities were distributed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to some 87,000 beneficiaries in the PT during the month of September.
(g) A quantity of 2,700 MT of wheat flour, 202 MT of vegetable oil and 40 MT of HEB arrived in the PT through the port of Ashdod during the month of September. The port was closed several days due to strikes and holidays delaying custom clearance of the cargo.
(h) Karni entry point of commercial goods into Gaza has been closed by the IDF without interruption since 17 September. The WFP warehouse in Gaza has sufficient food stock to conduct the bi-monthly distribution of September - October. Food arriving at the port intended for Gaza beneficiaries was diverted to the Atarot warehouse in Jerusalem or direct delivery to implementing partners in the West Bank as part of the October allocation.
(i) The allocation plan for the month of September included only the hardship cases covering l5% of the total beneficiary caseload. A quantity of some 8,000 MT of food is scheduled to arrive through out the months of October - November. Food allocation for September relied on carry over stocks due to a severe pipeline break in wheat flour, oil, pulses and sugar effective since July.
(j) USAID has confirmed a cash contribution of $2 million USD for the local purchase of wheat flour and olive oil. A contribution of $300,000 USD was also confirmed through multilateral funding.