17 December 2020
Jerusalem – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a €9 million (US$10.5 million) contribution from the Government of Germany to provide much-needed food assistance for the poorest and most food insecure Palestinian families.
This generous contribution from the German Federal Foreign Office, €4 million for 2020 and another €5 million for 2021, has enabled WFP to avert disruptions in its food assistance to approximately 340,000 non-refugee Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, most of them women and children. Through the WFP food vouchers they receive, families can buy a variety of food items that includes fresh dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and meat at 335 local retailers.

“We are grateful for this contribution that comes amidst an exceptionally difficult humanitarian and socio-economic situation exacerbated by a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic,” says WFP Acting Country Director in Palestine Hildegard Lingnau. “Germany’s consistent support and our strong partnership has provided thousands of families with a reliable safety net and has prevented them from sinking further into poverty and hunger”.

Measures to prevent the transmission of the pandemic have aggravated an already severe economic slowdown in Palestine due to the prolonged conflict, restrictions on trade and people`s movements and recurring rounds of violence. A third of the Palestinian population suffered from food insecurity prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. A significant increase in the number of food insecure families is now forecasted given the surge in unemployment and poverty, the two main drivers of food insecurity in Palestine.

Thanks to Germany and other donors, WFP has maintained its food assistance for more than 345,000 non-refugees reliant on regular food aid due to severe insecurity and poverty. WFP has provided food vouchers to an additional 95,000 people most exposed to the pandemic, including the elderly, people with disabilities, women and children. Fresh donor funding is critical if WFP is to maintain its assistance to the most vulnerable in Gaza and the West Bank.

Germany is one of the largest donors to WFP globally and is WFP’s top donor in Palestine with contributions totalling nearly US$30 million from 2018 until 2021.