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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
28 February 2010





WFP Operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Situation Report


Issue n. 20
1-28 February 2010

WFP operations in oPt

WFP has been providing food assistance to the oPt since 1991. The Country Office is located in Jerusalem, and is supported by an office in Gaza, two sub-offices (Nablus and Hebron) and one port office (Ashdod). WFP employs over 100 staff in the oPt, both national and international.

WFP’s PRRO (Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation) started in September 2007 to meet the food needs of the most vulnerable nonrefugees; it has covered both the West Bank and Gaza till December 08. Since January 09, following Operation ‘Cast Lead’ and the launch of WFP’s Emergency Operation Lifeline Gaza (EMOP—see below), it has been assisting beneficiaries in the West Bank only. The PRRO consists of four main interventions:

(i) Emergency relief for the destitute (in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA); (ii) Livelihood support for vulnerable households (poor farmers, unemployed workers and vulnerable women most affected by poverty and who have only partial means to cope with food insecurity); (iii) School Meals in the most food-insecure areas through cash-for-work activities, (nutritious snacks are prepared by bakeries and women centres which receive food commodities and cash from WFP); and (iv) Food-for-Work and Food-for-Training to contribute to and promote selfreliance by preserving agricultural assets to restore livelihoods.

To respond to the high food prices, WFP launched in April 2009 a Food Voucher EMOP in the West Bank covering approximately 5,500 families in urban areas, selected on the basis of two key studies conducted in 2008 (Safety Net Mission and Rapid Joint Food Security Assessment).

Following the military operation in Gaza, two new operations were launched in January 2009: the EMOP Operation Lifeline Gaza and the Logistics Cluster Special Operation (SO). The EMOP targets 365,000 beneficiaries through general food distribution and school feeding, i.e., 80 percent of the non-refugee population in Gaza, aiming at meeting the immediate needs of the population affected by the conflict as well as improving the food consumption of families and individuals in need.

15,000 beneficiaries are receiving vouchers in urban areas of North Gaza, Gaza and Khan Younis. This enables them to access a range of various commodities including protein-rich food (dairy products and eggs) directly from small and medium-sized shop keepers while saving cash for other essential food and non-food commodities.

WFP also thrives to maintain the enrolment of children in schools through the daily distribution of milk and biscuits to 92,000 schoolchildren.

In July 2010, WFP will launch a new PRRO for the West Bank which will target 454,500 beneficiaries. The current voucher EMOP will be expanded and integrated in the new PRRO.

Operational Update

In February 2010, WFP delivered 4,772 mt of food commodities in the Gaza Strip and was able to distribute 5,079 mt of food to 236,440 beneficiaries in cooperation with CHF, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs. 15,421 of these beneficiaries received vouchers in collaboration with Oxfam GB.

In the West Bank, WFP delivered 1,934 mt of food commodities during the reporting period and distributed 4,545 mt to 263,594 beneficiaries in cooperation with MoEHE, MSA, CRS and CHF. Urban vouchers have been distributed to 32,724 beneficiaries, in collaboration with CRS and ACF.

In 2009, the Logistics Cluster delivered 6,812 pallets of humanitarian cargo to the Gaza Strip on behalf of 33 cluster participants.

The number of trucks-per-day entering the Gaza Strip increased from 84 in November to an average of 88 in February (Kerem Shalom), but well below the operating capacity of 150 per day. 84 percent of the trucks are private.

With the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, only basic humanitarian supplies are allowed to enter the Strip. The blockade continues to disable Logistic Cluster members to deliver the needed relief, recovery and reconstruction items.

Streamlining Bilateral Donations

In the aftermath of Operation "Cast Lead", 10,000 mt of unexpected Bilateral Donations arrived at El Arish village in Egypt, close to the Gaza border. The vast majority of relief items were in unidentified packaging and the commodities were all mixed up; furthermore suitable storage arrangements could not be made.

The Logistics Cluster was established for Gaza in December 2008 and the WFP Logistics Cluster support team staff, who were based in Al-Arish, witnessed the arrival of unmarked goods and tried to assist Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) to examine and sort the items for delivery to Gaza. Unfortunately, many items sent were not suitable for the needs of the Gaza population and/or didn't meet recognised international aid standards. There was also no designation of beneficiary target group for the goods and no distribution mechanism for them once they reached Gaza.

Due to the absence of necessary accompanying paperwork, the Israeli Authorities did not allow the vast majority of these goods to enter the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, as the goods had no logistical arrangements for the crossing charges and distribution in Gaza, most of them were either distributed in Egypt or destroyed/transported back to its origin.

In a crisis such as the Gaza conflict, donations from foundations, governments and private individuals are really needed. However, the experience shows that unless the donations meet a real need and be sent in accordance with existing procedures, they will not achieve their objective of alleviating the suffering of the affected population.
As such, the Logistics Cluster has received funding from DFID to conduct a series of meetings with key stakeholders to discuss logistical arrangements and needs assessment systems in Gaza so that, should the situation deteriorate again, the population will be able to receive the kind international donations they desperately need in an organised, timely and coordinated manner so that donor funds are not wasted and needs are met.

The project/mission to streamline Bilateral Donations was set up in February 2010 to:

a) improve the type, quality and coordination of bilateral donations through education of newly emerging donors emphasising the needs assessment processes in place;

b) Encourage donors to work through existing PNA/UN/NGO systems ensuring that beneficiaries are reached in a timely and appropriate manner, avoiding duplication.

The project is carried out in partnership with OCHA and UNRWA, and will mainly target the generous and newly emerging donors.

The project also involves the Hashemite charitable organization (Jordan) who are responsible for sending Jordanian donations to Gaza and the Egyptian Red Crescent who are the main channel for donations from Egypt to Gaza.

Ongoing and upcoming assessments

WFP, FAO and PCBS have carried out a quantitative socio-economic and food security survey (SEFSec) in the oPt in 2009. The final reports are available on the WFP and OCHA websites (http://www.wfppal.org/foodsecurity.aspx)

The results are combined with a Market Study that was carried out in Gaza and the West Bank. The report was released in January 2010. The results of the studies and assessments have been compiled into a Comprehensive Food security and Vulnerability analysis, which has been published in December. This will serve as the basis for the next WFP PRRO, expected to start in July 2010.

A Food Security Atlas, prepared by WFP in collaboration with the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, was launched on 24 February 2010.

In the framework of the joint UNRWA/WFP Bedouin assistance project in Area C of the West Bank, UNRWA carried out a food security and nutrition survey in the areas of implementation, with the support of WFP and UNICEF. The final report is being finalized and is expected in March 2010.

A Buffer Zone food security assessment will be carried out in the Gaza Strip in March 2010.

All assessments and surveys are available on www.wfppal.org

Launch of the oPt Food Security Atlas

On 24 February 2010, WFP launched the Socio-Economic and Food Security Atlas for the occupied Palestinian territory. The event gathered representatives from the international donor community, relevant Palestinian National Authority ministries, UN partners and local universities.

The Socio-Economic and Food Security Atlas is one of the first Atlas produced which relates to food security issues at the national level in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and in the Arab world. This new tool will be part of the already existing Food Security Monitoring System that is implemented by the WFP, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) as to combat poverty and improve the food security status in the oPt.

The Atlas provides systematic spatial analysis of the demography, socio-economic, education, agriculture, environmental and water, food security, nutrition, and health sectors in the oPt (West Bank and Gaza Strip) at governorate level. This SE-FSA is the result of joint work between the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) and food security stakeholders in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) over the last 20 months.

The FSA provides information on the geographical distribution of food security and nutrition among the people and regions of West Bank and Gaza Strip at the governorate level, district level and agro-ecological zones. The FSA will then be used by WFP, PNA and other humanitarian actors to improve the channeling of assistance to the neediest amongst the population, highlight areas at risk and refine the targeting of interventions at the micro level.

In its present static form, the 2010 Atlas gives a grim picture of the socio-economic and food security situation in the oPt. Indeed, much more than the geographical and agro-ecological characteristics of the oPt, it is the specificities of the historical and political context that set the parameters of the current economic, social and food security situation of the population.

The aim is to link the FSA – as a shared dynamic database among food security stakeholders – to a multi-stakeholder platform responsible for the implementation of the socio-economic and food security component of a social protection policy and strategy. It will then serve as pilot project that can be adopted by neighboring Arab countries within their specific food security context.

A website has been prepared for the Atlas and will be activated in the first week of March. Stakeholders will be informed on the availability of the service, and a direct link will be placed on the WFP oPt website: http://www.wfppal.org



For comments or questions on the content of this report, please contact
Ancel Kats, Reports Officer WFP External Relations, Ancel.Kats@wfp.org, 00972 (0)546 77 31 28
www.wfp.org / www.wfppal.org

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