Food Security Sector in Palestine (2016 Q1 Highlights) – FSS Report

In brief

SEFSec survey

Following the joint release of the SEFSec 2014 Summary Report in December 2015, the work continued to be focused on the finalization of the full survey's report. To this extend, the dedicated FSS Core Group worked intensively with the team from the University of Florence that was hired to generate the report. During the 15t quarter of 2016, a mission to Palestine of the team from Florence triggered a significant round of comments and requests of further elaboration. At the end of the quarter, the draft report is still under revision and it should be finalised by June 2016.

Due to lack of funding, a new edition of the SEFSec survey was not carried out in the 1st quarter of 2016. FSS lead agencies and key stakeholders are looking for funding opportunities in the aim of running the survey not later than at the beginning of 2017.

HPC 2016 monitoring

With $322m out of $571m total value of projects budget, the FSS represents 56% of the overall HRP 2016 for Palestine. Overall for Palestine, the HRP was funded at 21% in the first quarter. In the same period, FSS projects received a total of $58m, equivalent to 18% of the requested funding. No NGOs under the FSS have reported funding in this quarter. The graph below show how the funding is distributed among the three main components of the FSS.

Although the food assistance reached an apparently satisfactory level of funding, due to the repetitive nature of this activity, the forecast is not positive: it is estimated that if no additional funding will be allocated for food assistance, more than one million people may remain without food support between June and September. WFP only has a shortfall of approximately $20m in order to achieve its yearly target in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The graph above clearly shows how critical is the funding status of projects focused on agricultural-based livelihood support. Out of $57m requested, only $2.4m (or 4%) have been granted. This level of achievement represents a very crucial issue within the FSS strategy of supporting fragile livelihoods of vulnerable beneficiaries in order to provide them with improved means to cope with shocks. It is acknowledged that low resilience contribute to increase food insecurity.

The low level of funding is also affecting the readiness of organisations to reach beneficiaries identified within the HRP 2016, who are approximately 300k people for this component. In the 1' quarter, livelihood support activities have been carried out through funding allocated last year.

Cash-based programmes reported 13% of funding received, and most of it is for the Gaza Strip, leaving people in the West Bank less equipped to cope with unemployment.

FSS project funding

The first quarter was a transition period as the previous grant expired. Therefore the FSS coordination team faced some interruptions of service. The situation evolved positively to the point that by the end of March a new deal with the donor (Canada) was agreed. This is going to ensure that the FSS coordination structure will be in place for another year. Unfortunately, the new agreement couldn't include funding for the SEFSec survey, as it was the case for the past two years.

Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF) and Strategic Response Plan (SRP) gap filler

In this quarter, projects funded through the HPF are being implemented by FSS partners, two of them in the Gaza Strip, and one in the West Bank. This round of funding promoted projects focused on supporting beneficiaries in putting in place measures to mitigate the adverse winter conditions. The FSS team continue his collaboration with the HPF management in monitoring projects' implementation on the ground.

Resilience Mar er (RM)

The development of the RM started in Palestine at the end of 2015. A dedicated inter-cluster working group previously produced a guideline on resilience, aiming at identifying critical issues that could hinder communities' resilience. The RM tool is intended as a means of analysing projects' ability to positively affect beneficiaries' resilience.

As resilience is a multi-dimensional entity, the process focused on identifying adequate concrete proxies that can be recognisable in projects' proposals. A draft tool has been designed, tested and discussed thought the involvement of FSS partners. One of the main feature of the tool that was observed during the testing sessions, it is that it requires a high level of consensus among the participants. In addition, as many variables come into play, at the time being the tool demands a consistent allocation of time for its use. The FSS team and FAO staff are working on this issue.

There is an active search going on for a partially dedicated staff able to perform a series of tasks on this regard. The debate around resilience will continue to be prominent in Palestine as other initiatives are being carried out.

Technical Working Groups (TWGs) update

In the last months the overall FSS TWGs structure was re-considered, resulting in a revision of the TWGs' mandates. Based on this process, the FSS team, in consultation with the WG leads, developed the ToR of the five TWGs (Livestock, Crop production, Food Assistance, Cash Programing WG and preparedness). The new ToR will be presented in the coming FSS meetings for discussion, comments and feedback from partners.

In line with technical working group revision initiated last year, FSS advocacy working group's tasks are being re-designed based on focal points systems. Gender focal points have been identified too. International and national NGOs have been consulted for covering these tasks.

Response to damages of livelihood assets

In light of the serious humanitarian impact, demolitions deprive people of their homes, often their main source of physical and economic security and also disrupt their livelihoods caused by the forced displacement of Palestinian families in West Bank and East Jerusalem. The FSS took the initiative to establish a committee tasked to define guidelines, and criteria for FSS partners. The aim is to ensure a coordinated, timely and effective response to destruction of properties, and to mitigate the impact of sudden, external man-made shocks resulting from infringement of IHL, which prevents households from continuing their traditional livelihood activities, and puts at risk their food security status.

The committee, which is composed by representatives of NGOS with the participation of OCHA, met in the last week of the first quarter. Meetings with MoA staff also took place. The committee's work will be shared with FSS partners for suggestions and endorsement.

The driving force of the FSS guidelines on destruction and confiscation of livelihood assets is to enable and enhance the capacity of the FSS partners to address the response at household level, and to monitor humanitarian needs arising from this kind of incidents.

Information Management (IM)

FSS is updating the 4Ws form quarterly by gathering information from all sector's partners. Up to the 2016 1st quarter, a number of 353 actions and interventions have being conducted by 49 partners in West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2013 onwards. This includes the main areas of the FSS mandate, such as agricultural livelihood assistance, cash assistance programmes, and food assistance. The Information included in the 4Ws will be used to feed the Agriculture Projects Information System (APIS) previously launched by FAO and handed over to the MoA. The FSS team is in the process of carrying out a revision of APIS. The aim of the revision is to improve APIS as a web-based IM tool for partners and key stakeholders. APIS is the FSS platform for collecting project-based information and providing regular reporting on the response from partners. APIS as an IM tool can help in visualizing gaps and overlaps of partner responses, and ultimately help in avoiding duplication of humanitarian assistance.

FSS meetings/events in this quarter

• 2 FSS general meetings

• 1 FSAU meeting

• 5 SEFSec Core Group meetings

• 1 FSS Advocacy focal points meeting

• 2 National Animal Identification workshops

• 4 Inter-cluster meetings

• 4 HCT Advocacy Working Group meetings

• 2 Inter-cluster meetings and 1 field visit on response on demolitions

• 1 Gender in programming workshop

• 1 Gender and funding event

• 2 Test/vetting resilience marker meetings

• 2 HPF meetings


Lead agencies FAO and WFP

Ciro Fiorillo – 

Daniela Owen –

FSS focal points

Marco Ferloni – +972 (0) 546773171

Hosne Barakat – + 972 (0) 546773161

Anas Musallam – +972 (0) 592030026


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