Relief: emergency assistance to the most vulnerable households.
Resilience: using food assistance to build economic resilience by linking safety nets to local production and engaging in community works projects that promote greening Palestine and agricultural development goals.
Preparedness: support to the Palestinian Authority to plan for and respond to emergencies.
Challenges to Food Security
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
Since it was founded in 1963, WFP has fed more than 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people and has invested US$42 billion in development and emergency relief. WFP is funded completely by voluntary donations.
WFP is also the UN logistics lifeline, saving lives through fast, efficient and effective emergency response. At any given time, WFP has 30 ships at sea, 70 aircraft in the sky and 5,000 trucks on the ground, moving food and other assistance to where it is needed most.
WFP hands over its projects to governments, ensuring that safety net programmes such as school feeding continue after WFP has ended its operations. Around 37 countries have taken over WFP school meal programmes in the past 10 years.
WFP’s support focuses on:
General Food Distributions: WFP will reach 337,000 people living below the deep poverty line in 2013. Each year, WFP also provides food to support an additional 17,000 people in orphanages and care homes for the elderly and disabled.
School Meals level the playing field and ensure that students are ready to learn in school. In Gaza, WFP plans to reach 80,000 children in 2013 with locally produced date bars. In the West Bank, 75,000 children will received a nutritious daily snack of locally produced milk and a date bar.
Food Vouchers help households purchase sufficient and nutritious food, to mitigate the effects of poverty and economic hardship that many people face. An average West Bank family of six living under the poverty line will spend nearly half of their income on food, while a household in Gaza would spend 55 percent of their income on food.
Families in this situation are extremely vulnerable to volatile food prices and income fluctuations. In 2013, WFP plans to reach 146,000 individuals with food vouchers. Families receive debit cards which allow them to purchase locally produced eggs, cheese, yogurt and other nutritious foods in markets. This assistance protects families from engaging in negative coping mechanisms such as cutting food, health, education and other necessities.
In Gaza and the West Bank, 116,000 individuals received food vouchers in 2012, providing US$12-$13 per month per person. WFP plans to reach 146,000 beneficiaries with vouchers in 2013.
In addition, WFP issues debit cards for work and training programmes, allowing poor farmers to learn new techniques for planting, harvesting and food processing, and to engage in land reclamation and rehabilitation projects. In 2013 WFP is planning to engage 10,000 people in its voucher-for-work/training programmes.
Investing in Palestine
Local Purchases: WFP uses its purchasing power to stimulate the local economy. In 2012, WFP purchased close to 20,000 metric tons of food from Palestinian producers for its programmes. This amounted to US$13 million invested in the Palestinian economy, supporting local jobs and providing an outlet for goods that is not normally available due to restrictions on trade and investments in Palestinian areas. In 2012, the voucher programme injected around US$16.7 million into local market.
Emergency Preparedness: WFP uses its knowledge of disaster preparedness to build the government emergency preparedness and response capacity through support to the Palestinian Civil Defense (PCD). This includes the development of the following systems:
Web-based emergency portal.
Smartphone-based assessment tool for use in emergencies by PCD staff to assess and communicate humanitarian needs.
SMS technology that will enable the PCD to provide early warnings for natural disasters.