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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
16 May 2003



WFP Emergency Report No. 20 of 2003

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A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Iraq, (2) Iran, (3) Afghanistan, (4) Palestinian Territories

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4) Palestinian Territories

(a) The Gaza Strip was brought under a strict closure policy by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) during the second half of April. As a result, those Palestinians able to work in Israel have lost their livelihoods since they are unable to reach their work place. Humanitarian agencies were denied access to provide assistance except in the Northern part of the Strip. The closure is effective for commercial and humanitarian goods entering Gaza including WFP commodities.

(b) There was an increase of military operations, incursions, curfews and restrictions during April, particularly in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus. Jenin residents were unable to reach their work for a period of two weeks during the month. Families particularly affected are farmers whose livelihoods depend on employment in the Jordan Valley area. The working environment for WFP staff became more unpredictable and stressful as the level of military operations increased. The lack of accountability displayed by the IDF for actions often involving international staff and infrastructures is of great concern and the recent escalation has prevented WFP staff from moving freely and entering areas, which are considered high risk.

(c) FAO and WFP's joint assessment on food security and nutrition in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continued. During April, the fieldwork and data entry of the findings were completed. The team of international experts are in the process of analysing the results and preparing the draft report.

(d) On 07 April, WFP signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) formalizing collaboration on the purchase of 270 tons of olive oil from 16,000 poor farmers in the West Bank. During April, olive oil was collected by selected farmers in the designated warehouses in the 6 olive producing districts of the West Bank. On 27 April, some 14 tons of olive oil provided by 87 farmers was delivered on to Hebron, after being quality approved, for distribution to WFP beneficiaries under the supplementary feeding programme. During April a total of 1,890 tons of food was distributed to some 106,625 beneficiaries in 21,325 families in Gaza and West Bank.

(e) 17 shipments carrying 7,270 tons of food arrived in April. Israeli national holidays, port and custom strikes and closure of the entry point for commodities to Gaza, seriously delayed food deliveries and resulted in extra cost in storage, double handling and transportation.

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Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.


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