Almost 200,000 Palestinians could be without critical humanitarian food aid starting next month, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The agency had said earlier this month that almost 60 percent of 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 the latest WFP statistics, 1.84 million Palestinians, or roughly about 35 percent of the total population, are currently suffering from food insecurity at various levels.
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 $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 percent for May 2023.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP representative and country director in Palestine. “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.”