A) Middle East and Central Asia: (1) Palestinian Territories, (2) Iraq, (3) Iran, (4) Afghanistan
1) Palestinian Territories
(a) The failure of the ceasefire agreement in Cairo between the heads of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other factions, along with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia is likely to cause more political turmoil and stricter Israeli closure policy. In fact, many towns and villages in the northern part of the West Bank have witnessed continuous incursions and curfews. Other towns and villages are facing strict closure, including internal ones. The construction of the Separation Wall continues the encroachment over vast areas of land. In Salfeet governorate, some 200 olive trees have been uprooted as a result and many farmers have been prevented from accessing their lands.
(b) In November, WFP and implementing partners including ICRC distributed some 4903 tons of wheat flour, sugar and oil to some 254,766 beneficiaries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through general distribution, food for work, food for training, institutional feeding and supplementary feeding activities. The food for work programme in the West Bank under EMOP 10190.1, including those activities under the Separation Wall project funded by ECHO, has continued throughout November. The food for work programme involving the olive harvest was completed this month. Aside from the ongoing food for work and food for training activities such as terracing, land reclamation and rural access road rehabilitation, WFP will launch new activities including urban agriculture, bee keeping, food processing and replanting uprooted olive trees. Distributions to the hardship beneficiaries, including hardship social cases and supplementary and institutional feeding, have been implemented in full both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
(c) Starting in January 2004, WFP will cover the needs of beneficiaries in 10 urban West Bank centres with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA); and in the rural West Bank with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC); and will implement a limited food for work/food for training pilot project with the Ministry of Agriculture. In Gaza, Centro Regionale di Intervento per la Cooperazione (CRIC), an Italian NGO with whom WFP has signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU), has started the selection process for 8,000 Bedouins in need of food aid. In addition, WFP has signed a LoU with the Ministry of Agriculture and Directory of Fisheries to assist 8400 beneficiaries in Gaza.
(d) A custom strike delayed shipments to Ashdod, preventing delivery of wheat flour to implementing partners, except for to the hardship distribution in Gaza.
Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons.
(End WFP Emergency Report No 50).