WFP expected to cut food aid to Palestine due to lack of funding 

The UN agency estimates that US$ 51 million is needed to continue its operations in Palestine until the end of this year

May 29, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
WFP food aid cut in Palestine
(Photo: UNRWA/Mohamed Hinnawi)

Almost 200,000 Palestinians could be without critical humanitarian food aid from next month, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The agency had said earlier this month that almost 60% of the total Palestinians it was providing food vouchers for will stop receiving them by June due to an acute funding deficit. 

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are suffering from decades of economic decline due to the constraints, barriers and restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation as well as frequent Israeli raids and attacks. According to reports, the WFP will be forced to close down its operations in the West Bank and Gaza by August if there is no new funding by then. 

The WFP estimates that USD 51 million is required to continue its operations in Palestine until the end of this year. It has called for regular, stable funding to continue providing vital food aid to Palestinians in the coming years. The food aid program for Palestine has reportedly already been reduced by 20% for the ongoing month.

Samer Abdeljaber, WFP representative and country director in Palestine, told news outlets that “desperate times call for desperate measures. We have no option but to stretch the limited resources we have to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable families are met. They will go hungry without food assistance.” 

Abdeljaber urged governments and donors from the private sector to “continue their support to WFP during this difficult time,” adding that “continued donor support has allowed us to provide a lifeline to Palestinians as well as build sustainable food solutions in Palestine. We need now, more than ever, to ensure that work does not stop.” 

According to the latest WFP statistics, 1.84 million Palestinians, or roughly about 35% of the total population, are currently suffering from food insecurity at various levels.