QUANTITATIVE FOOD SECURITY AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEY IN THE WEST BANK

PCBS-WFP-FAO (JAN./FEB.2009)

(NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD QUANTITATIVE SURVEY)

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Section one: Main findings

  • Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food insecurity exists when this access is jeopardized. As a result of the factors analyzed, i.e. food price inflation, livelihoods deterioration and erosion of coping mechanisms, the food insecurity level is still high.

  • 24.1 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank (WB) is food insecure (as compared to 25 percent in 2008).
  • Food insecurity is higher among non refugees (25 percent) than refugees (21.5 percent). However, food insecurity reaches 28 per cent in camps.
  • In the WB, half of the household¡¦s income is now spent on food. Poor families are most affected, spending three quarters of their budget on food. 65 % of the poorest quintile reduced their expenditure on meat in the past six months.
  • The share of food expenditure over the total household expenditure is as high as 53 percent in rural and camp areas, compared to 49 percent in urban areas.
  • Palestinians living in refugee camps continue to show the highest levels of food insecurity (28 percent).
  • Approximately 61 percent of the food insecure people live in urban areas, compared to 32 percent in rural and 7 percent in camps.

  • The survey shows that, while 55 percent of the surveyed households reported an unchanged total income in the past six months, 40 percent reported a decrease in their total income during the same period. In general, the decrease of income is more prominent among camps households than among urban and rural households.
  • Approximately 29 percent of the populations in West Bank lives on less than USD 2 per day per capita, and 11 percent less than USD one per day per capita.

  • 97 percent of households reported being affected by a rise in food price in the past six months. 13 percent of the population believes to be financially steadfast for several months.
  • The population resorts excessively to negative coping strategies. Having already sold disposable assets, 46 percent of households are now relying on credit to buy food. However, this coping mechanism is increasingly exhausted and only available to those with a reliable income.
  • The majority of Palestinians have not paid their utility bills (water and electricity) for many months. While 52 percent of Palestinian households still relies on this strategy, the other half has already exhausted this possibility.
  • Palestinians in the West Bank are reducing their food intake, especially parents, who reduce their ration to allow for their children to eat enough. 42 percent of the surveyed population has decreased its spending on food, 37 percent reduced the quality of food they buy and 34 percent reduced the quantity. 50 percent of the Palestinians reduce their consumption of meat, and very few now eat fresh (red) meat.

  • Survey findings show that 31.percent of the West Bank households have received assistance in the past 6 months. The findings also show that assistance focuses more on the northern West Bank (31.6 percent) and southern West Bank (31.2 percent) than in the Central West Bank (29.4 percent). It worth mentioning that 52 percent of the female headed household families are receiving assistance compare to only 28 percent of the male-headed households.

  • Of those households receiving assistance, 37 percent have received some type of cash or in-kind assistance in the past six months, with higher levels of coverage for refugees, particularly amongst the poorest segments of the population. 58 percent have received food or health assistance in the WB.
  • Survey findings show that close to 31.2 percent of the households believe that the received assistance has become more important to their livelihood in the past six months.

  • Survey findings revealed that 75.5% of the West Bank households who have agricultural holdings faced difficulties in cultivating their lands due to Israeli restriction (roadblocks and checkpoints) within the West Bank, which restricted their movement.

Section Two: Survey methodology

In cooperation with FAO and WFP, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) has conducted a survey of the socio-economic and food security conditions of the Palestinian Households in January and February 2009.

  • Survey objectives

The survey aimed at measuring the following:

  • social and economic characteristics of households members;
  • income and expenses of households;
  • ways used by households to cope with the current situation;
  • general situation of household¡¦s life over the past six months;
  • the basic needs of the households; and
  • assistance received by households and household¡¦s evaluation of this assistance.

  • Target Population: All the households living in the West Bank.
    • Sampling frame: the sampling frame consisted of enumeration areas (EAs) selected from the Population, Housing and Establishment Census 1997. EAs are relatively of equal size (number of households). These units have been used as primary sampling units (PSUs).

  • Sample Design: the sample was a two-stage stratified cluster random sample. The first stage was the selection of 310 EAs. The second stage was the enumeration of household in a part of the EA. The number of households from EA was 16.
    • Stratification: two levels of stratification were made:
1. Stratification by Governorate (11)
2. Stratification by Type of localities, which comprised:
(a) Urban (b) Rural (c) Refugee Camps
3. Location from the Wall.

  • 2.4 Sample size: the sample size was composed of 4,760 households.
Level of published:
1. Governorate.
2. Location from wall.
3. Type of localities (Urban, Rural, and Refugee Camps)

Section three: Map showing food insecurity levels in the West Bank by Governor

3 July 2009

This is a summary of the main findings – a more comprehensive report will be circulated shortly.