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Source: World Food Programme (WFP)
31 July 2017


WFP assisted 473,000 food insecure non-refugees in Gaza and the West Bank in July, through both cash-based transfers (CBT) - using an electronic card redeemable in local shops - and in-kind food assistance. Women and children accounted for 70 percent of those assisted.

The current electricity crisis in Gaza is exacerbating the dire living conditions of the impoverished enclave's population. Thanks to additional funds received, WFP was able to resume its voucher assistance to all of its 92,000 beneficiaries in the second half of the month.

WFP Assistance

The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 200709, with an approved budget of USD 210 million over 2015-2017, WFP has three objectives: 1) meeting urgent food needs and enhancing the food consumption and dietary diversity of the most vulnerable non-refugee populations; 2) supporting livelihoods, fostering early recovery and enhancing the resilience and coping mechanisms of fragile communities in the face of socio­economic hardships; 3) supporting the Palestinian authority's capacity to deliver cost-effective and protective national safety nets, and strengthening its readiness to respond to external shocks, in collaboration with United Nations agencies.

Each month, WFP provides food assistance to nearly half a million poor food insecure Palestinians, the great majority living below the deep poverty line on less than USD 3.2 per person per day. WFP food assistance proved to be critical in meeting their daily food needs, but also in protecting their livelihoods and mitigating the devastating and accumulative impact of decades of conflict on their socio-economic status.

The Palestinian Authority is a core WFP's partner in Palestine. WFP supports the Ministry of Social Development in the development and delivery of an integrated and needs-based National Food Safety net, reaching 214,000 people with in-kind food and cash-based transfer assistance (CBT), using an electronic food voucher. WFP also provides technical support towards programme design, beneficiary targeting, monitoring and evaluation to the Ministry of Social Development.

By purchasing the majority of its food supplies locally and using retail shops for the procurement and distribution of food assistance, WFP aims at strengthening the resilience of local food systems and the wider Palestinian economy to the protracted crisis. Since 2011 and to date, WFP has invested more than USD 242 million in the economy,

including USD 154 million through CBTs and 88 million through local purchases. Approximately 96 percent of WFP food items available through CBTs are produced and/or processed locally.

WFP's CBT platform allows for a flexible, rapidly-scalable and multi-stakeholder humanitarian response in times of crisis, fostering aid complementarity, cost-effectiveness and impact. Use of an "electronic wallet" made it possible for other organisations to deliver assistance through the same card. During the 2014 Gaza conflict, WFP reached more than 300,000 people in less than two weeks with CBTs, including 84,000 who received complementary water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance from UNICEF through the WFP card. CBTs are also effectively used in recovery contexts: since the conflict, WFP continued to partner with UNICEF and teamed-up and/or shared its CBT technology to Oxfam, Help Age and Medecins du Monde in Gaza. In the West Bank, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been using WFP's voucher platform to deliver its food assistance to 47,000 refugees since 2015.

WFP's activities in Palestine promote and support women's empowerment and gender equality in all its interventions. Food distribution points and partner retailers are easily accessible for women and are located in areas close to women-headed households. WFP together with the local NGO Ard EI-Insan and UNICEF run nutrition education classes to selected WFP beneficiaries. The programme is critical as 50 percent of the population suffers from more than one micronutrient deficiency. The sessions have a long-term positive impact on levels of nutritional and dietary knowledge and healthy cooking habits among participants.

Operational Updates

In July, WFP assisted 473,000 poor and food insecure people: 246,000 people in Gaza and 227,000 people in the West Bank with food and CBTs. WFP food assistance was critical in meeting their immediate food needs and stabilising their dietary diversity, but also in protecting their livelihoods and mitigating the devastating and accumulative impact of decades of conflict on their socio­economic status.

• Thanks to additional donor contributions (Switzerland, Spain, France, private sector donors), WFP was able to resume its voucher assistance in Gaza to all of its 92,000 beneficiaries in the second half of the month. Food assistance is critical in the current Gaza context where the power shortages of up to 20 hours per day are seriously undermining the dire living conditions and negatively affecting the purchasing power of the poorest, including WFP beneficiaries who live with less than USD 3.2 per day.

• The WFP-UNRWA assisted Bedouin and herding communities in the Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank continue to face mounting difficulties to their livelihoods, being exposed to the risk or having had their agricultural assets confiscated, while their access to basic services and essentials remains heavily challenging. A new WFP assessment indicates a deterioration of their food security status, as 61 percent of the surveyed population were found to be food insecure compared to 50 percent in 2012. Humanitarian food assistance to these communities at imminent risk of forcible displacement is essential, and the regular United Nations presence has positive secondary impacts on the safeguard of their protection.

• WFP, together with other United Nations agencies, also provides emergency assistance to those whose houses have been demolished. In July, WFP provided emergency voucher assistance to 10 people for a total of USD 200, following OCHA's recommendations and WFP's assessments. Since the beginning of the year, WFP assisted 206 people with emergency vouchers for a total value of USD 3,400.

• WFP and its local partner Ard El Insan ran awareness raising sessions for a further 5,700 poor food-insecure people in Gaza, the large majority of whom women, on best health and nutritional practices. The six-month sessions will cover a large variety of topics aimed at sensitising them on the benefits of healthy eating. Since 2011, more than 12,000 people have benefitted from the classes.

• On July 12, WFP hosted the visit of Mrs. Monique Pariat, Director General of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and supporter of WFP's cash-based transfers in Gaza.


• WFP needs USD 11 million to provide uninterrupted assistance to all people in need from August until the end of the year, including and in priority USD 6 million in Gaza in support of 160,000 poor severely food-insecure people.

Country Background & Strategy

Decades of occupation coupled with severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods have undermined the living conditions and reduced access to livelihoods for Palestinians. Food insecurity in Palestine is driven by limited economic access to food, arising from restrictions of movement, trade and investment, and high unemployment rates. Food prices are driven by Israel, where people's average purchasing power per person is six times higher than in Palestine, and therefore too high for poor families to afford.

The impact of the 2014 conflict in Gaza continues to be devastating to the Palestinian people and economy. Against this backdrop, more than 27 percent of the population — or 1.6 million people —suffers from food insecurity. In Gaza, one in two people are food insecure, and one in three is severely affected by food insecurity. As poor and vulnerable Palestinians spend more than half of their income on food, WFP's assistance is critical to meet their food needs. This prevents further deteriorations in their food security and livelihood status, and prevents them from engaging in negative coping mechanisms, such as selling their assets.

WFP targets nearly 500,000 of the most vulnerable, food insecure non-refugees in Palestine who have been affected by the ongoing conflict and occupation, a fiscal crisis and a steady decline in living standards. PRRO 200709 combines ongoing operations in the West Bank and Gaza to coherently address urgent humanitarian needs in Palestine, while supporting early recovery and sustainable, long term food security for non-refugees.


The Palestinian national authority supports the non-refugee populations whilst the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is mandated to respond to the needs of refugees. Humanitarian and development actors, including WFP, support the national authority in the provision of assistance to vulnerable segments of the non-refugee population. WFP works closely with the Government, NGOs (Global Communities, Ard El Insan) and United Nations partners (UNRWA) to deliver assistance in the form of in-kind food rations and cash-based transfers in Gaza and the West Bank. WFP co-leads, together with FAO, the Food Security Sector which aims to strengthen food security analysis and response, and link humanitarian and development.


WFP is grateful for the unwavering support of its longstanding partners, namely: Belgium, Canada, ECHO, France, Italy, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Norway, OCHA, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, multilateral donors.

Contact info: Raphael du Boispean ( Country Director: Daniela Owen Further information:


Credit: WFP/ Asmaa Nassar
Caption: The women and children of the Bedouin and herding communities in Area C of the West Bank are amongst the most vulnerable Palestinians. In Khan al-Ahmar community, Um Khamis is constantly worried by the threat of having her house demolished and risk of forcible displacement. WFP together with UNRWA provides in-kind food assistance to more than 35,000 Bedouins and herders across the West Bank.

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