Post-conflict recovery of Palestinian fisheries begins in Gaza
ILO launches one-year project on supporting livelihoods and job opportunities in the fisheries sector in Gaza
GAZA (ILO News) – A new ILO project that supports the recovery of the fishing industry in Gaza was launched in Gaza on Thursday (October 31).
“Supporting Livelihoods and Job Opportunities in the Fisheries Sector in Gaza” extends the ILO’s support to a vital economic sector that has been hard hit by Israeli military operations and the continued blockade of Gaza. Almost half of all Gaza’s fishermen suffer from food insecurity and deteriorating living conditions.
Some forty participants were in attendance at the workshop – representing organizations and individuals active in Gaza’s fishing industry including United Nations agencies, cooperatives, government bodies, vocational training centres, representatives from the private sector as well as international and local organizations.
“This project is an opportunity to better organise the fisheries sector to add value and create income and sustainable livelihoods opportunities,” said Mounir Kleibo, ILO Representative in Jerusalem. “The ILO will support Gaza’s fishermen through an inclusive and participatory process determined by the needs of local stakeholders.”
The project aims to improve the value chain of the fishing industry in the oPt as well as to facilitate the development of Gaza fisheries sector recovery plan.
This will be achieved through capacity building for local stakeholders in core technical areas, conducting assessments and surveys, and putting in place a comprehensive fisheries development plan for Gaza. It will also look into creating alternative livelihoods for workers of the fisheries sector who are not able to earn a decent living due to its limitations.
“Fisheries are among the most economically affected sectors in the Gaza Strip. Limiting the fishing area to six nautical miles significantly affects fishing activities and livelihoods. An extension of the current fishing limit would help to restore legitimate livelihood opportunities to over 3,000 Gazan families,” said Masae Sumikoshi, head of sub-office of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Gaza. “FAO strongly believes that the strategic partnership between ILO and FAO will revive the fisheries sector in the Gaza Strip and expand their livelihood opportunities in order to mitigate the impact of the protracted crisis.”
The ILO’s Decent Work for Food Security programme aims to address decent work challenges and deficits along critical agro-food value chains with a view to enhancing productivity, competitiveness, and improving incomes and therefore livelihoods and food security of workers and their families.
The enhancement of employment and livelihood opportunities for Palestinian women and men, is one of the three priority areas of the ILO in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In 2012, during eight days of conflict, Gaza’s fishermen lost an estimated US$15,200 per day in value of catch. Imposed restrictions and the reduction of the fishing zone in recent years have led to a sharp increase in the cost of fishing and loss of income.
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