Food distribution is underway in Gaza and the West Bank to meet soaring demand following a sharp escalation in conflict – leading to the displacement of nearly 264,000 people in Gaza to date. Immediately after the conflict broke out, the World Food Program (WFP) began distributing fresh bread, canned food and prepared meals to about 100,000 people seeking refuge in temporary shelters. of the United Nations UNRWA in Gaza. Our emergency operation aims to provide essential food to more than 800,000 people.
“The situation is devastating,” said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP director in Palestine. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that those who need help – those displaced from their homes, those living in shelters – get the food and help they need to survive. . We will deploy support in the form of electronic vouchers so people can buy food at stores that are still operating. » WFP is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Israel and the State of Palestine, and the impact of this conflict on civilians.
“We are doing everything we can, but Gaza’s food reserves and basic needs will soon be depleted,” Abdeljaber said. “We need… to be able to support those affected and their numbers are growing every day. We need safe and unhindered access. WFP calls for access to provide urgent humanitarian aid, open borders and protect against bombing. We also call for safe and unobstructed passage for our staff – humanitarians must be protected.
The destruction of infrastructure and streets in Gaza is hindering humanitarian services. United Nations partners reported damage to several United Nations Relief and Works Agency health facilities and schools currently being used as shelters. Several shops where people could exchange WFP aid were destroyed. In addition to outreach, increased funding is also essential if WFP is to continue providing the support it so desperately needs.
The latest phase of the conflict erupted amid severe funding shortfalls, which in June forced WFP to suspend vital aid to thousands of vulnerable Palestinian families. WFP requests an immediate amount of $17.3 million over the next four weeks to address this emergency. In total, we need $44.8 million over the next six months for emergency response for one month and regular support for six months.
Levels of food insecurity were already alarming before the conflict intensified, with a third of the Palestinian population – 1.8 million people – food insecure. Our planned emergency assistance includes: fresh bread and canned food for 200,000 displaced people in UN shelters; cash transfers to 100,000 people outside shelters; in-kind food for 300,000 people in the host community; and food and cash aid to 205,000 people previously supported by WFP.