Question of Palestine home
World Food Programme (WFP)
30 April 2010
WFP Operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Issue n. 22
1-30 April 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 non-refugees; 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 self-reliance 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.
WFP oPt at a glance (as of May 2010)
PRR0 West Bank
EMOP Gaza (including UVP)
EMOP Food Voucher
Current WFP stock
* From January to June 2010
** From January to December 2010
In April, WFP delivered 3,620 mt of food commodities in the Gaza Strip and distributed 7,399.60 mt of food to 307,656 beneficiaries in cooperation with CHF, the Ministry of Education (MoEHE) and the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA).
14,593 beneficiaries received food vouchers in collaboration with Oxfam GB.
In the West Bank, WFP delivered 4,574 mt of food commodities during the reporting period and distributed 7,324 mt to 360,011 beneficiaries in cooperation with MoEHE, NEF, MoSA, CRS, CHF and UNRWA. Food vouchers were distributed to 32,724 beneficiaries, in collaboration with CRS and ACF.
The number of trucks-per-day entering the Gaza Strip increased from 84 in November to an average of 120 in April (Kerem Shalom), but still 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.
Protection in WFP Operations
As a result of the ongoing conflict and the occupation of the Palestinian Territory, some major protection issues arise affecting the Palestinian civil population such as threats to life, liberty and security; restrictions on freedom of movements; confiscation and/or damage of land and resources; forced displacement; lack of access to services and assistance.
These protection issues have considerable repercussions on Palestinians’ livelihoods, and ever more so on the most vulnerable populations that WFP is serving – the food insecure Palestinians. In this regard, WFP took the initiative to organize, with the support of UNRWA, two protection training sessions that took place in April in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The overall objective of the training was to raise awareness on protection. While WFP by no means is changing its mandate, it still aims to mainstream protection in its operations, reaching not only WFP field staff, but also our main and closest partners at the field level (UN partners – FAO, UNRWA, OCHA / Palestinian counterparts – Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Education andHigher Education / NGOs - ACF, CRS, CHF, OXFAM and Care).
More than 50 participants were provided with necessary skills to formulate appropriate response to protection concerns arising within the context of WFP operations in the oPt. This initiative already took place in other countries. Since the WFP Protection Project was launched in 2005, it has involved more than 20 countries, with about 1,750 WFP and partner staff who have benefited from the protection training/workshop package.
Integrated food security interventions must be complemented by protection and advocacy responses as the protracted closure since June 2007 in the Gaza Strip and the prolonged restrictions of movements or other measures that prevent access to key resources (i.e. labour, land, water) in the West Bank leave actors with limited scope for improving employment and livelihood sustainability.
In order to link assistance with protection, the needs of groups at risk due to the linkages between their livelihoods and the conflict (type of income or food production activities, geographical location) are specifically assessed, in addition to the ‘classical’ food insecure and poor groups (i.e. farmers impacted by the Buffer Zone and the Israeli Defense Forces incursions, fishermen at risk of losing their livelihoods due to the nautical restrictions, herding communities living in Area C). WFP, among other UN agencies and Food Security stakeholders, is engaged to further develop such activities through its joint food security assessments and reports, which feed into the advocacy of the UN and international community to lift the restrictions imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Ongoing and upcoming assessments
WFP, FAO and PCBS carried out a quantitative socio-economic and food security survey (SEFsec) in the oPt in 2009.
The results are combined with a Market Study. The last one was carried out in Gaza and the West Bank in August and September 2009 and 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 was published in December 2009. A Food Security Atlas, prepared by WFP in collaboration with the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, was launched in February 2010.
A Buffer Zone Rapid Assessment is being carried out in the Gaza Strip in partnership with OCHA in order to measure the impact of the Buffer Zone on land use and natural resources management in the area. It will be ready by mid-June 2010.
A study on the impact of the tunnels on the market in the Gaza Strip is being carried out in the Gaza Strip in partnership with OCHA in order to assess the socioeconomic impact of the tunnels in relation to the blockade. The report should be ready in the summer 2010.
All assessments and surveys are available on www.wfppal.org.
Stories from Gaza
WFP/MoSA – ATD
Gaza, April 2010
A 36-year old woman, veiled in black, full of enthusiasm was scooping WFP food commodities with a big smile on her face when my colleague and I
stopped at the main warehouse of the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA).
Taghreed wanted to talk to us. She started telling us proudly about her tasks as a food distribution worker. She gets about 45 ILS a day for almost 15 days during each distribution cycle. She mentioned that this money allows her to buy food for her kids and to pay for other health and education expenses, which she could otherwise not afford. This job also empowers her, as she is the only bread winner for the family. Thanks to her role, she can participate in her family’s decision making process.
Taghreed has a big family of 12 members. The head of the household is unemployed.
Her husband used to be a
casual labor, but because of many years of violence and blockade, he has not had any job opportunities.
Her husband used to be a beneficiary of the WFP/CHF Assistance to Vulnerable Group programme, but due to his health condition, which has deteriorated due to the lack of access to food and other basic facilities, he enrolled in the WFP/MoSA Assistance to destitute programme as a social hardship case in order to benefit from other governmental privileges such as health insurance and other services.
Taghreed, who was fully aware of all WFP programmes said to us: "I would love to pass the thanks of my kids to WFP". My colleague and I silently wondered why. Then she added: "Oh, it is for the snacks that WFP distributes to school children, you can't imagine how it improves the spirit of my children, they feel that they are no longer less than their peers; having one shekel to buy from the canteen is no more an issue, or going with less energy to school, having had a basic breakfast; tea and bread in their stomachs is part of the past". She also said that her children were happy to be equal to their peers in terms of educational achievement.
WFP/OXFAM GB – UVP
Gaza, April 2010
After having put lots of efforts into this programme, it was such a marvelous feeling to see a real concrete positive change on the ground.
In the Gaza Strip, WFP has been piloting the Urban Voucher Programme (UVP) for about 15,000 beneficiaries in partnership with Oxfam GB since October 2009.
In addition to protecting the livelihoods of the very poor urban households that are most affected by the high food prices crisis and introducing nutritional food items to the beneficiaries' dining table, WFP also aims at strengthening the local production and the private sector through sustaineddemand that stimulates the supply of medium businesses on the local market.
Twenty three shops have been selected according to strict selection criteria to be part of the Gaza voucher project in three governorates: Khan Younis, Gaza and North Gaza.
Eid shop was one of the selected shops in the Al-Zaytoon area of Gaza City and has been part of the UVP since October
Mr. Ibrahim, the owner of the shop, indicated that the UVP beneficiaries represent about 40% of his customers. He explained that the new demand has increased his profit thanks to the UVP. Mr. Ibrahim was also able to hire an extra person in his shop to assist him with the voucher exchange process. The monthly wage of his worker is US$300.
The young shop keeper added that the UVP has contributed significantly to the success of his business. He said he had just made his shop bigger and has increased the supply, which he had dreamed about for a long time but had never been able to do.
: Wafa Zaqout/WFP
Sakher Ar Ramadin is part of a Bedouin community south of Hebron. He is 52, has two wives and eight children, and his home is composed of a few shacks and tents.
Originally from Beersheba, Sakher and his family have been living in the same place for over 50 years. Recently, they received an eviction notice but Sakher has nowhere else to go. They have to stay close to areas where they can maintain their livestock.
His oldest daughter is now old enough for university and has been encouraged by her school teacher to apply for university, which her father supports. He would like his daughter to have a real job, papers for travel but unfortunately can’t afford his daughter to go to university.
Thanks to WFP and UNRWA, Sakher now receives food, which allows him to save some money in order to cover his sick wife’s medical expenses
In Area C of the West Bank, WFP and UNRWA launched a joint assistance programme in 2009 targeting marginalized communities regardless of their refugee status.
: Ancel Kats/WFP
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