JERUSALEM, Wednesday, August 11, 2021 (WAFA) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a € 500,000 contribution from France to meet pressing food needs of vulnerable non-refugee populations in the Gaza Strip.
WFP said in a press release that the funds will be used to provide electronic food vouchers to more than 32,000 people for one month to purchase diverse nutritious food of their choice from 200 retail shops across the Gaza Strip.
This donation comes at a critical time when families in the Gaza Strip are coping with exacerbating deterioration in food insecurity, unemployment, and poverty due to the recent escalation in conflict.
WFP’s Cash-Based Transfer (CBT) through electronic vouchers has proven again to be a rapid and effective tool to deliver vital food assistance to people who were subject to displacement and loss of assets and livelihoods. This WFP digital CBT platform is also used by different humanitarian and development actors to provide food and other essential needs of affected people in Palestine while injecting much needed cash into the local economy.
“For tens of thousands of vulnerable families in Gaza, the food they receive through our cash-based transfers is fundamental to meet a portion of their daily meals,” said Samer AbdelJaber, Representative and Country Director of WFP Palestine. “We are grateful for France and its people for the longstanding support to these families, especially now with enormous economic hardships having an impact on their purchasing power which could push them to compromise their access to food.”
The recent upsurge in conflict caused significant suffering and destruction. People in the Gaza Strip were already living on the edge and many families have been struggling to put food on the table. Before the recent conflict, seven out of ten people were food insecure because they cannot afford having adequate food as they cope with high poverty and unemployment.
“France is committed to improve food security for the most vulnerable Palestinians, especially in Gaza, in line with our 2019-2024 international strategy for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture,” said René Troccaz, Consul General of France in Jerusalem. “We are delighted to support WFP and its electronic voucher assistance that provides some real impact on the local economy and preserves the dignity of the assisted populations.”
In Gaza and the West Bank, WFP provides regular food assistance to more than 350,000 of the poorest and most food insecure non-refugee Palestinians through food vouchers, multi-purpose cash and in-kind food parcels. In Gaza, more than 260,000 people rely on this assistance. Responding to increasing needs due to the recent escalation in violence, WFP extended its food voucher assistance to some 100,000 affected people. Another 13,700 internally displaced people in Gaza received ready-to eat food including fresh bread and canned food. WFP implements home-based agricultural activities for longer term impact on vulnerable families’ dietary diversity and livelihoods.