17 July 2014 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have taken advantage of a five-hour humanitarian truce to provide emergency food assistance to thousands of people affected by the escalation in violence and to move food stocks into position around the Gaza Strip.
WFP is distributing emergency food vouchers in areas where shops are functioning as an innovative solution for food assistance at a time when banks in the Gaza Strip are closed and household incomes are at risk. It also transported food including wheat flour, bread and canned tuna from its warehouses ready for distributions to 85,000 people in the next days as security conditions permit.
“The food needs in Gaza are urgent. We are seeing the effectiveness of WFP’s food assistance programmes, which provides the opportunity for a rapid response and flexibility to scale-up emergency food assistance if the need arises,” says WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde.
Recalde was taking part in an inter-agency mission taking advantage of the pause in fighting to assess emergency needs.
Since the onset of the latest conflict, WFP has remained operational with distributions of food to hospitals and families hosting displaced relatives. WFP has provided emergency food rations and food vouchers to more than 20,000 displaced people and has food stocks in position for emergency distributions to newly-displaced families, as needs arise.
WFP provides food assistance to more than 600,000 of the most vulnerable people in Palestine; 285,000 in Gaza and 318,800 in the West Bank. Together, WFP and UNRWA provide food assistance to approximately 67 percent of the total population of the Gaza Strip.
To continue its food assistance programmes in Palestine, WFP, which is funded by voluntary contributions, needs an immediate US$20 million until the end of the year. Meeting the needs as a result of the emergency in Gaza will require additional resources.
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