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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
20 July 2006

WFP operational update: oPt

Food aid in Gaza

20 July 2006 - WFP food aid continues to enter Gaza through the Karni crossing. From July 17-21, the agency delivered over 500 of wheat flour into Gaza, with another 1,505 due to enter next week.

Thanks to the Karni opening, WFP now has four days of emergency food stocks in its Gaza warehouse to cover its expanded caseload of 220,000 people – around 50 percent of the non-refugee population (16 percent of the total Gaza population).

WFP currently needs around 3,000 metric tons per month in Gaza.

Humanitarian corridor
The humanitarian corridor into Gaza which provides several points of entry for WFP food was established in response to UN requests; it prioritises the transport of humanitarian goods over commercial goods into Gaza.

With Gaza completely reliant on external supply and stocks low, regular and unhindered access of relief items and personnel remains essential.

All crossing points for goods and personnel must remain open to avert a major humanitarian crisis.

Conflict & food security
WFP remains concerned about the negative impacts of the ongoing conflict on food security:

As a result, additional farmers and daily labourers have been badly hit by the crisis and there is a strong need to extend assistance to the New Poor to ensure they can survive this difficult period.

In addition, fishermen have been unable to go out to sea since 28 July. The subsequent loss to the fishing sector amounts to an estimated $22,500 USD/day and affects 35,000 people’s livelihoods and income.

Power/water cuts
Power cuts at the hottest time of year continue. Most Gaza residents have power for only six-eight hours a day with a negative impact on individual family's ability to keep their own food stocks

The power cuts are resulting in the loss of perishable food stocks that should be kept refrigerated. People who freeze vegetable over the winter to cover the summer period are losing their reserves due to the electricity cuts.

People who are unable to afford generators and unable to build-up emergency stocks are now forced to buy their food day by day.

Water supply continues to be sporadic in Gaza and residents do not have reliable access to water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. On average, six hours of water are available every two days.

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