Thanks to donor support, WFP assisted 470,000 food insecure non-refugees in Gaza and the West Bank in January through cash-based transfers (CBT), using an electronic voucher redeemable in local shops, and direct food assistance. Women and children accounted for 70 percent of those assisted.
Despite reaching 180,000 people, funding constraints forced WFP to reduce its voucher value by 20 percent in January.
Country Background & Strategy
In January, WFP assisted 469,071 poor and food insecure people: 232,793 people in the West Bank and 236,278 people in Gaza with food and CBTs. Of this 214,000 (45 percent) people were assisted in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development under the Palestinian Authority’s Social Protection System.
As part of two new partnerships, WFP is now delivering its cash-based transfers in Gaza to 70,000 people with the INGO Global Communities (with whom it already partners in the West Bank), and the Ministry of Social Development reaching 10,000 people under the National Food Safety Net. WFP will further scale-up its CBT assistance in Gaza by providing voucher assistance to another 10,000 people currently receiving food rations through the Ministry by March. This transition is aligned with WFP’s strategy to provide a diversified diet to the people targeted for food assistance, support the Government national plan and food security objectives and boost the local economy by using retail shops for distribution of locally-produced food commodities.
WFP’s nutrition education classes for CBT recipients, in majority households headed by women, resumed in Gaza. Acknowledging its benefits on women's nutrition and health awareness, self-image and empowerment, and in a bid to foster programme complementarity, WFP has expanded the scope of its intervention, reaching more women, and, for the first, tailored specific classes for primary school children who will be taught about healthy eating habits through interactive and participatory sessions.
The newly-released Humanitarian Response Plan 2017, under which WFP operates in Palestine, targets 1.65 million food-insecure Palestinians, 35 percent of whom being nonrefugees (640,000). Following the one-year extension of its PRRO, WFP aims at providing food assistance to 496,000 people for a total cost of USD 60 million. WFP will focus on expanding nutrition education and CBT, prioritising people with high vulnerability, including households led by women, the elderly and disabled people, Palestinians in Gaza and Area C of the West Bank, whilst contributing to government-level sustainable strategies and institutional development.
WFP and UNICEF have signed a new agreement to deliver joint WASH/food assistance through WFP’s Common Card to 620 families (approximately 3,500 people) in Gaza. In February, each household will receive USD 130 credited onto their voucher card to purchase water, sanitation, hygiene and winterisation items in WFP contracted shops.
They will also be trained on best hygiene and health practices by the local NGO Ard EL Insan.
WFP and the private sector company REACH, a subsidiary of the Palestinian Telecommunication Group (PALTEL), have agreed to set-up a specialized telephone call centre service to answer inquiries, requests for information and complaints of WFP beneficiaries across the West Bank and Gaza. This toll-free number will be put into service in February. This new mechanism will add on existing WFP’s monitoring tools and increase accountability towards assisted people.