EAST JERUSALEM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of €4 million (US$4.5 million) from the Government of Germany which will help meet the most pressing food needs of vulnerable, non-refugee communities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Due to a severe lack of funding, WFP was earlier this year forced to reduce monthly food vouchers for vulnerable families from US$10 to US$8 per person. These new funds from Germany will help WFP reinstate full food voucher entitlements for all 166,000 people affected by the cuts.

‘‘With poverty and food insecurity on the rise, this contribution will help the most vulnerable people to cover their basic needs,” said Christian Clages, German Representative to the Palestinian Authority. “Continued support to WFP in Palestine is needed to maintain the assistance until the end of the year.”

A new WFP impact assessment in March revealed a deterioration in the food security status of those affected by these cuts. Affected families were found to have increased their reliance on charity and credit, reduced the number of daily meals and consumed food in lesser quantity and of lower quality.

“Germany has shown its continued commitment to the people of Palestine by increasing its financial support, allowing WFP to sustain a lifeline of assistance to those most in need,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine Stephen Kearney. “The restoration of the food voucher value will considerably improve the dire living and socio-economic conditions of poor families who usually spend more than half of their resources on food.”

Since the beginning of the year, WFP has been able to assist around 333,000 of the most food-insecure non-refugees. New national estimates indicate that the number of those in need is over 700,000. The funds currently at its disposal should enable WFP to continue providing assistance 260,000 until the end of September.

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