Family from Beit Hanoun in the North Gaza governorate gathering with their children over an Iftar meal. Amidst heightened hardships in the Gaza Strip, WFP electronic voucher assistance helps most vulnerable families purchase diverse and healthy food from local shops © WFP/Ali Jadallah
Jerusalem – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a €250,000 contribution from France to provide essential food for the poorest and most food insecure non-refugee populations in the Gaza Strip.
The funds will be used to provide electronic food vouchers to 21,560 people for one month to purchase nutritious food of their choice from 200 retail shops across the Gaza Strip.
WFP has been using and expanding the use of vouchers since 2011 based on evidence demonstrating its stronger impact on people’s food security status and positive spill-over effects on the local economy. Vouchers give people more freedom of choice, dignity and the flexibility to collect their entitlements at their own best convenience.
“For 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 WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Kearney. “We are grateful for France’s longstanding support to these families, even more notably now in view of the dire economic implications of COVID-19 on their incomes and purchasing power which could push them to compromise their access to food.”
Measures to prevent the transmission of the pandemic have exacerbated an already fragile humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of workers have recently lost their jobs pushing their families deeper into poverty with particularly devastating impact on the most vulnerable. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis one in two people in Gaza was poor and unemployed and almost two-thirds of the population were food-insecure.
“This contribution to WFP to continue to carry out its activities in Gaza and fight food insecurity confirms France’s continued commitment to the organization’s work and to food and nutrition security,” said Consul General of France in Jerusalem René Troccaz.\ In 2020, WFP continues to provide, with the generous support of donors, regular food assistance to 345,000 of the poorest and most food insecure non-refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, predominantly through Cash-Based Transfers but also through in-kind food parcels. The COVID-19 crisis is pushing more Palestinians into hunger with the number of food insecure people on the rise, forecasting the necessity of more extensive interventions from WFP and other agencies in the near future.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.