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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
31 December 2012




Key Messages



The Food Security Sector was endorsed in the West Bank on 4 November 2012. Endorsement in the Gaza Strip will be sought in the coming week. It integrates Agriculture, Food, and Cash for Work Sectors and oversees humanitarian & development policies and programs in both WB & GS. This initial Food Security Watch is a product of the three Food Security lead agencies, but will become a sector product in 2013.

The food security rapid assessment in Gaza recommends 1) the rapid repair of agricultural assets to avoid prolonged disruption of livelihoods and income sources, and 2) continued provision of emergency food assistance to food insecure beneficiary populations. Food insecurity was not affected by the conflict, but remains high.

LOCAL PRICES (USD) NOVEMBER 2012 (▲ or ▼% from prev. month) (currency rate: 3.90 NIS/USD)
Barley (MT)
WB: 443 3.4%
GS: 449 6.2%
Wheat bran (MT)
WB: 360 0.9%
GS: 308 5.0%
Ruminant fodder (MT)
WB: 576 1.2%
GS: 505 9.3%
Live meat (kg)
WB: 6.6 4.1%
GS: 6.4 ▲0.0%
LOCAL PRICES (NIS) OCTOBER 2012 (▲ or ▼% compared to same month of previous year) (all data from PCBS)
Rice (25 kg)
WB: 107.5 ▼6.2%
GS: 120.0 14.3%

Lebaneh (500 g)
WB: 8.1 ▲2.2%
GS: 7.8 7.0%
Wheat Flour (60 kg WB, 50 kg GS)
WB: 176.3 ▲9.1%
GS: 105.0 ▲5.0%

Fresh Chicken (1 kg)

WB: 16.4 ▲22.2%
GS: 17.0 ▲28.3%
Sugar (1 kg)
WB: 4.5 ▼9.7%
GS: 4.5 ▲3.8%

Eggs (2 kg)
WB: 18.1 ▲22.2%
GS: 15.0 ▲7.8%
Fresh Chicken (1 kg)
WB: 16.4 ▲22.2%
GS: 17.0 ▲28.3%

Gasoline (96 grade –1 liter)
WB: 7.6 ▲9.4%
GS: 7.6 ▲9.4%



RISK WATCH
TYPE & STATUS
DESCRIPTION
Political

(Unchanged)
Access to fishing area increased to 6 NM and access to buffer zone permitted to 100 meters from the fence after 8-day escalation in violence although political uncertainty remains.

The buoys demarcating the 3 NM fishing limit have been relocated to 6 NM.
•Farmers are permitted access to the buffer zone of up to 100 meters from the fence although ERW’s and soil contamination in the Buffer Zone pose potential risk to cultivation.
•No guarantee over the physical security of persons and investments in the buffer zone cause skepticism in returning to the land to farm
•Since November, at least 19 Palestinian structures in the West Bank had been demolished.

Economic

(Increased)
Unemployment rates and select consumer prices rise in the 3rd Quarter of 2012

Unemployment rate rose in the third quarter to its highest rate this year: 27.8%[1] Youth (aged 20-24) rates were 43.8% (up from 35.6%in Q2), and unemployment amongst males was 20.7% (up from 18.8% Q2) and for females 39% (a significant increase from 29.5% in Q2). Unemployment in the Gaza Strip stood at 31.9% and 20.4% in the West Bank.
Prices rose sharply in 2012 compared to 2011. Fuel has increased by 10.5%, vegetables in the West Bank by 13.5%, with the price of tomatoes up 35.9%.

Environmental

(Increased)
Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak risk increases. Red Palm Weevil infestation remains high.

RPW infestation is higher compared to the same period last year due abnormal high temperatures. Four hundred trees on 1 farm were found affected a week ago.
Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak poses a risk with higher humidity and decreasing temperatures during coming winter period.

Natural

(Unchanged)
Above average rainfall performance in the North but slight lower performance in the South.

Accumulated rainfall: 42 and 182 mm in West Bank, 77 to 145 in Gaza Strip;
Percent of normal for the same period: above average rainfall in north of WB (128% in Salfit), below average in Middle and South-WB and in GS (73 % in Hebron). Only 48% in Jericho.
Above normal temperatures is likely to affect rainfall performance in the coming months.

[1]Relaxed definition. All other rates refer to the ILO definition.

EFFECTS ON LIVLIHOODS
Israel has officially declared 12 December 2012, permission for farmers to access up to 100 meters from the fence. Farmers have begun planting although with low value crops which do not provide substantial returns. Access to the buffer zone expands the productive potential in Gaza substantially. Analysis of the economical potential of agricultural production in the buffer zone is ongoing. Above average rainfall in winter crop producing regions in North West Bank. This could have positive outcomes on winter crop production for the North where as South fact potential risk of low rainfall.
The 8 day escalation of violence damaged structures and caused some losses due to inability to access farms to feed livestock. Overall, fodder availability did not cease to the extent that it caused major losses. However, those with damaged structures require immediate assistance to prevent further losses with the cold weather. Partial re-opening of the buffer zone also creates opportunities for herders in Gaza to expand grazing area. An increased risk of FMD outbreak exists with upcoming winter season and consequent colder and humid conditions.
After indications of a good sardine catch in the month of September, the war put the fishing economy on hold. Fishermen are now allowed to go fish up to 6 NM from the 3 NM fishing limit that was enforced since January 2009. Observations indicate an increased diversity in the type of fish caught but are limited to trawlers who are able to financially operate their boats within the expanded fishing area. Fish catch production and type will be closely monitored to further assess the gains in the expansion.
Overall, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased by 3.7% in the West Bank and decreased by 0.6% in Gaza Strip from January to October 2012. Real daily wages have increased from the 1st to the 3rd Quarter of 2012 by 3.5% in the West Bank and 4.4% in the Gaza Strip. Labour force participation rate remained stable at 43.4% (45.2% West Bank and 40.4% Gaza Strip). With prices relatively stable, increasing unemployment rates will affect the food access of vulnerable
households with urban/peri-urban livelihoods.



Findings of the Gaza Rapid Assessment
Food Access

The price and demand for bread did not fluctuate significantly during the conflict. The price of bread remained stable before, during and after the conflict and price controls are in place by local authorities. All 47 bakeries in the Gaza Strip have returned to full functioning capacity, although there were reported concerns about the restoration of adequate supplies of cooking gas, spare parts and regular electricity service.

Food Availability

While slight shortages were experienced during the conflict for certain fresh foods (some vegetables, dairy products, eggs) food commodities supplies have returned to pre-conflict levels, with no shortages reported and no difficulties to procure the commodities from wholesalers. The market is connected and working well, with all items (food and non food) available in all governorates at the same price.

Food Production

Farmers whose greenhouse or farm land was damaged are at risk of missing the season to grow vegetables and lose their income for the season. Those with partially damaged animal farms are under threat of losing more livestock due to the cold weather. Immediate reconstruction of the completely damaged and partially damaged agricultural assets including green houses, irrigation networks, water wells, and animal sheds is required.


For additional information, contact:

Nadejda Dagash
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Tel: +972 533 9400, ext. 4011
Email: nadejda.dagash@fao.org

Paul Skoczylas
World Food Programme
Tel: +972 2 5401340 2210 Mobile: +972 546 773151
Email: paul.skoczylas@wfp.org

Natalie Grove
United Nations Relief Works Agency
Mobile: +972 542 168573


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