Japan helps WFP provide food to vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza
JERUSALEM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution of more than US$800,000 from the Government of Japan to help bolster food security in Gaza whose inhabitants are experiencing high levels of deprivation.
WFP will use these funds to provide electronic vouchers to more than 63,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable non-refugees in Gaza. They will be able to use the vouchers to buy nutritious, fresh foods at local retailers.
“This contribution reaffirms Japan’s strong commitment to ease the hardships most vulnerable Palestinian families in Gaza face every day,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Kearney. “WFP’s food assistance and all other forms of support are now more critical than ever to avert a deepening humanitarian crisis. It is our collective responsibility to continue to provide them with much-needed assistance.”
In Gaza, poverty and unemployment affect more than half of the population. Food insecurity is on the rise and, according to the latest Food Security Sector’s Socioeconomic and Food Insecurity Survey, now affects two thirds of the population. Some 70 percent of non-refugees in Gaza are food-insecure, as against 67 percent of refugees in the enclave.
“The Government of Japan is strongly committed to providing continuous and unwavering support through WFP to the most vulnerable segments of the Palestinian society,” said Japanese Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs Takeshi Okubo. “Japan will always be a true friend for people in need.”
WFP serves those people who are most acutely hit by the lack of jobs and who receive less than US$1 a day to cover basic housing, clothing and food needs. These people skip meals, take on debts, and depend on support from neighbours and friends.
Since January, WFP and partners have been assisting 245,000 extremely poor and severely food-insecure people in Gaza, mostly through food electronic vouchers. These offer a critical safety net to vulnerable households, enabling them to meet their basic food and nutrition needs while injecting much-needed cash into the local economy.
Since 2011, WFP has invested more than US$100 million into Gaza’s economy through food vouchers. With contributions amounting to more than US$53 million, Japan is among WFP’s top donors to Palestine, as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally.
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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.