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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
12 May 2006


World Food Programme Emergency Report 2006
Issued Weekly by the United Nations World Food Programme
Report No. 19 / 2006 - Date 12 May 2006


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Occupied Palestinian Territories

(a) During the reporting period (1-11 May), the security situation in Gaza continued to plummet, arguably linked to the deteriorating economic situation. Crime rates are also on a rapid increase and riots are a daily occurrence. Internal violence is escalating.

(b) Access to Gaza very difficult for all UN staff except diplomats due to the crossing procedures. Access for West Bank staff between North and South West Bank is becoming increasingly difficult. No Palestinian staff were able to work at the Country Office for two days on owing to a total closure of the West Bank over the Jewish holidays.

(c) Food security has deteriorated significantly over the past weeks and a grave humanitarian crisis is unfolding. The cut of Palestinian National Authority (PNA) funding and closures continue to have a direct impact on increasing the level of impoverishment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. People at all levels of society are being affected. WFP is extremely concerned about the deterioration of coping mechanisms among the poorest sector. The severity of the situation are indicated by: National institutions are collapsing as PNA employees are not going to work, shops are no longer giving credit to PNA employees, many families are being forced to sell their remaining assets, the number of people affected by poverty and food insecurity is increasing, prices of basic foods have increased, and in some cases doubled, fuel prices and public transport have increased by some 50 percent, preventing many workers from accessing their place of employment.

(d) To buffer the impact of the cut in PNA funding and closures on vulnerable households, and prevent a further deterioration of the household status, WFP plans to increase its caseload by 25 percent to cover the basic food needs of the poorest most food insecure sector of non-refugee society through the current crisis. WFP urgently needs funds to cover the pipeline break for Social Hardship Cases and Institutions after July in order to continue assistance to this vulnerable caseload.

(e) Under the Social Hardship Case programme, the general distribution organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs in all governorates is completed in the West Bank and Gaza strip for the third cycle and there were no distributions during the reporting period.

(f) Distributions are ongoing under phase two (January - March) allocation, through participation in Food-for-Work (FFW) and Food-for-Training (FFT) activities in West Bank. Some 28,170 beneficiaries received some 1,120 tons of food in exchange for FFW/T during the reporting period. Some 30,000 beneficiaries received 44,535 tons of food through the framework of FFWT.

(g) The second distribution cycle for kindergartens registered with Near East Foundation (NEF) was completed. Some 2,050 children benefited from the project from 31 kindergartens.

(h) Preparations for Walk the World are continuing in cooperation with TNT. The event will take place in Jerusalem on the 20 May instead of the 21st owing to the local holidays.

(i) Some 1,550 tons of goods were delivered to Gaza Strip, 1800 tons to the West Bank. 7000 tons of goods arrived at Ashdod in the reporting period. Some 1,000 tons of Wheat Flour were delivered to the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom Terminal from Egypt. Local suppliers of wheat flour in Gaza have delivered total of 300 tons during the reporting period. At the port of Ashdod the maximum container load has been limited to 17 tons instead of 22 tons 75 percent capacity. Due to the extended holidays and Security alerts port of Ashdod is facing serious congestion and the cleaning process is now taking as long as two weeks instead of the usual 4-6 days.

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