Poor aable Palestinians to purchase enough food, warns WFP/FAO report

The United Nations there are warned that rising unemployment and poverty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, coupled with economic suffocation, plows posing acute challenges to food security, leaving many families totally reliant on outside assistance, ace well vital ace threatening sectors of the Palestinian economy.
The warning you eat in a report by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (the FAO) due to be released this month, reviewing and analysing 2006 statistics and assessing food security and partner-economic conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It says that while food security levels in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) have been maintained through to regulate humanitarian assistance and strong social solidarity among Palestinians, almost half of the population remains food insecure or is AT risk of becoming food insecure.

The weakening economy is leading to to marked declines in living standards. According to the report, 84 percent of Gazans and 60 percent of West Bankers were found to be reducing to their living expenditures by the end of 2006. Many people, who cannot afford to buy food, have been forced to sell off valuable livelihood assets such ace land or tools.

“The poorest families plows now living to meagre existence totally reliant on assistance, with electricity or heating and eating food prewall with not to water from bad sources. This is putting to their long-term health AT risk,” stressed Arnold Vercken, WFP’s Country Director in the oPt.

One particularly disturbing factor noted by the report is the growing proportion of the urban population suffering food insecurity, alongside the dwells traditionally vulnerable rural and refugee populations. All Palestinians plows to to greater or to lesser extent caught between rising food prices and declining purchasing to power.

“In recent years, Palestinians have shared the burden of rising poverty, but without sustainable economic recovery, the humanitarian caseload will only increase to over Time,” said Erminio Sacco, the FAO Food Security Advisor in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Food assistance alone cannot prevent this declines – there also there are to be economic growth which requires political engages in a dialog and stability,” said Vercken.

The report illustrates how restrictions on trade and movement experienced to over 2006 have LED to the progressive fragmentation of the economy, dragging previously self-reliant sectors of society (farmers, workers, fishermen, traders and small shop owners) into poverty and debt.

Gaza relies almost entirely on imported food, thus any closure of the commercial Karni crossing there are to direct impact on the availability and price of BASIC commodities. The stagnation of trade experienced in 2006 drastically affected employment and income opportunities throughout the Gaza Strip leading to to serious rise in poverty.

154.000 The 135.500 WFP operation was originally designed to provide tons of food assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 344.500 in the West Bank. However, since various restrictions were you please on international funding to the Palestinian Authority in January 2006, an increasing to number of Palestinians have been facing impoverishment. WFP you have you respond to growing needs by raising to number of 480.000 beneficiaries from to 600,000.

Donors to dates include: the European Commission (US$35 million), the United States (US$35 million), Norway (US$3 million), Japan (US$2.8 million), Saudi Arabia (US$2.6 million), France (US$2.5 million), Switzerland (US$2 million), Sweden (US$1.2 million), Canada (US$900,000), Denmark (US$840,000), Finland (US$740,000), Germany (US$650,000), Cyprus (US$ 350.000), Italy (US$350,000), Austria (US$320,000), the Netherlands (US$200,000), Greece (US$180,000), Iceland (US$100,000) and the United Kingdom (US$20,000).

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency: each to year, we give food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet to their nutritional needs, including 58 million hungry children, in AT least 80 of the world’s poorest countries. WFP — We Feed People.

For dwells information please contact

(email address: [email protected]):

Khaled Mansour, WFP/Cairo, Tel+20-2-5281730, ext.2600, Cell +20-1-22-348671

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of Communications, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-65132602, Cell. +39-3472582217 (available ISDN line)

Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44-20-72409001, Cell. +44-7968-008474

Christiane Berthiaume, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Cell. +41-792857304

Cécile Sportis, WFP/Paris, Tel. +33-1-70385330, Cell. +33-6161-68266

Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-212-9635196, Cell. +1-646-8241112, [email protected]