The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Palestine welcomed a contribution of €1 million (US$1.1 million) from France in 2019 to support the most pressing food needs of 80,000 highly-vulnerable people in the Gaza Strip.
This timely donation will allow WFP to provide assistance through electronic food vouchers that families can use to buy the food of their choice in a network of 200 local retail shops.
WFP Representative in Palestine, Stephen Kearney said, “In today’s challenging funding environment, the support of longstanding partners like France is more critical than ever to maintain a lifeline for the poorest. I appeal for further support from the donor community to help us assist those most in need, leave no-one behind and continue fostering stability.”
Food insecurity is on the rise in Palestine, affecting one third of the population and is worst in Gaza where nearly 70 percent of people are food insecure, according to the results of the latest national survey on food security issued in 2018.
Consul General of France in Jerusalem, René Troccaz said, “‘This contribution to WFP to continue to carry out its activities in Gaza is a testimony of France’s continued commitment to the organization and to food and nutrition security. This exceptional mobilization is part of the continuity of France’s efforts to reduce hunger throughout the world.”
Vouchers give people the freedom to make their own purchasing and cooking decisions, manage their budget and redeem their entitlements at their convenience. While it gives people independence and restores normalcy, vouchers also are instrumental in supporting the resilience of the local economy and agro-business industry.
WFP needs around US$65 million in 2020 to carry forward its food interventions in support of 360,000 people of the most vulnerable across Gaza and the West Bank.
More than US$2.7 million in WFP vouchers have been injected each month into Gazan markets where severe liquidity and economic crises affect everyone. This model of assistance was used for the first time in the Middle East in Palestine in 2009.