Food prices are increasing, Palestinian purchasing power is decreasing, and many households may lose their ability to meet basic food needs. This is not a food “crisis,” but the situation must be closely monitored and steps taken to prepare for an increased number of people requiring sufficient resources to purchase food.
Palestinian wages have not kept pace with inflation and the value of the shekel has dropped. Many poor Palestinians have exhausted their coping mechanisms (taking on loans, cutting back consumption, etc.) and are now much more vulnerable to small price increases than they were in 2008.
Food prices in the occupied Palestinian territory are already highly inflated. Additional increases in local or global food prices will only exacerbate an existing problem and further erode Palestinians’ food purchasing power.
The increase in the cost of living has been followed by a series of non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank that could further deteriorate into violence. However, the PA has take steps to control prices by reducing the V.A.T. From 17% - 15%, cutting public spending on transport and senior level management salaries, reducing fuel prices, price setting the cost of food and commitments towards setting minimum wage levels.