WFP assisted 366,800 food insecure non-refugees in Gaza and the West Bank in October, 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. Due to funding shortfalls,
WFP was forced to interrupt its in-kind food assistance to 68,000 people in the West Bank in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development.
WFP needs additional resources to be able to plan for and provide sufficient and timely food assistance to all severely-food insecure people in the West Bank and Gaza during the first quarter of 2018.
In September, WFP assisted 366,800 poor and food insecure people: 184,500 people in Gaza and 182,300 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 socio-economic status.
In both Gaza and the West Bank, all WFP beneficiaries receiving cash-based transfers have been given the choice and flexibility to redeem their entitlements in all participating shops instead of being assigned to a dedicated one. As in the West Bank, WFP enabled shop retailers in Gaza to move away from fixed prices and apply market prices onto all commodities purchasable with WFP’s voucher. These initiatives were implemented to foster competition and increase people’s freedom of choice and purchasing power.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and WFP signed a new partnership agreement which foresees the distribution of water, sanitation and hygiene products, using WFP’s Common Card, and training on best health practices to 4,250 poor and vulnerable families whose socio-economic situation has deteriorated. This is the fourth time this year that WFP lends its CBT platform to UNICEF in Gaza. The partnership is a stellar example of United Nations agencies joining forces and delivering as one under SDG 17 to better help answer the various needs of the most vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip, ensuring a holistic humanitarian response.
WFP, together with other United Nations agencies, also provides emergency assistance to those whose houses have been demolished. In October, WFP provided emergency voucher assistance to 36 people for a total of USD 600, following OCHA’s recommendations and WFP’s assessments. Since the beginning of the year, WFP assisted 294 people with emergency vouchers for a total value of USD 4,900.
WFP’s 2018-22 Palestine Country Strategic Plan (CSP) will be presented to WFP’s Executive Board for approval in November. The CSP foresees a reduction of 35 percent in the number of beneficiaries assisted compared to the PRRO, from 496,000 in 2017 down to 314,000. Donor conditions allowing, 65 percent of WFP’s assistance is to be delivered under the form of cash-based transfers and 35 percent with in-kind food. WFP Palestine is currently engaged in assessment to define the most severely-food insecure people eligible to WFP assistance.