In the State of Palestine, ongoing protracted conflict, economic stagnation, restricted trade and access to resources, coupled with high unemployment and poverty rates, continue to pose serious challenges to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2 on Zero Hunger, food security and improved nutrition.
With just under one quarter of the population – 22.5 percent, or 1.3 million people – not having the means to afford nutritious food, humanitarian assistance has prevented the food security situation from deteriorating further. Food insecurity is particularly high among women – 36 percent of families headed by women are food insecure, as opposed to 21 percent of those headed by men – and in the Gaza Strip, where it peaks at 39 percent.
Poorly diversified diets are causing overlapping nutritional problems. According to the most recent national surveys, nearly 50 percent of those assessed had very low levels of essential minerals and vitamins.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been in Palestine since 1991, providing food assistance to the most vulnerable non-refugee populations. WFP focuses its activities on areas with a high prevalence of food insecurity, including the Gaza Strip where severe restrictions of movement, trade and investment, access to land and essential basic services, coupled with recurrent armed hostilities, have led to the progressive collapse of all the main productive sectors, rampant unemployment, poverty, and food insecurity.
What the World Food Programme is doing in the State of Palestine
Food assistanceWFP provides non-refugee populations in highly food insecure areas, including the Gaza strip, with unconditional food assistance – increasingly in the form of electronic vouchers which people can use to buy food of their choice – and nutrition awareness, with a view to reducing micro-nutrient deficiencies.
Capacity strengtheningWFP works with national institutions to enhance the capacity of existing social safety nets to assist the poor and vulnerable, and engages in new partnerships with Government, United Nations and NGO partners around the use and further development of WFP’s voucher platform, which transfers assistance through a WFP electronic card. The WFP voucher platform has proven to be an efficient, flexible and cost-effective tool and has been made available to several partners.