FAO-Belgium partnership supporting institutional and household resilience
in the face of natural and man-made shocks in the Gaza Strip
Belgium’s USD 475 000 contribution to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) emergency programmes in the Gaza Strip is supporting a one-year emergency project to strengthen the resilience of urban and peri urban families through domestic food production. It is also supporting the response of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture’s veterinary and animal health services to the avian influenza emergency in the Gaza Strip through the provision of emergency supplies, laboratory materials and technical veterinary expertise.
Focused on increasing the number of people, particularly women, engaged in urban and peri-urban agriculture, one dimension of the project aims to sustainably improve the food security of 1 340 of the Gaza Strip’s most impoverished residents as a means of supporting their recovery from the July-August 2014 conflict by utilizing small-scale and tailor-made agricultural activities to diversify both diets and incomes. In light of the Gaza Strip’s persistent avian influenza emergency and the Ministry of Agriculture’s need for support to respond, the second dimension of the project will provide the emergency supplies, laboratory materials and technical veterinary expertise to enable the Ministry of Agriculture to cull infected birds and disinfect the premises in a proper and timely manner, to diagnose avian influenza rapidly and conduct active surveillance and zoning. It will also contribute to building the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture in the use of Standard Operating Procedures to manage and control the current disease as well as prevent new cases.
Through both its avian influenza and domestic food production dimensions, this FAO-Belgium project protects and improves agricultural livelihoods, giving precedence to supporting low-resilience families, especially female-headed households. Funds for this project leverage part of a EUR 5.75 million Belgian contribution to FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA). By maintaining a strong commitment to supporting flexible humanitarian funding mechanisms like SFERA, Belgium’s contributions mean that FAO is able to respond immediately to a diverse range of humanitarian crises such as avian influenza and post-conflict recovery based on an assessment of humanitarian need.