Food Security continues to be a significant issue in Palestine, particularly in Gaza. In 2012, more than 70 percent of households were either food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity. Food insecurity in Gaza means that people are unable to buy or produce enough food. Soaad, the sole earner in a family of nine, is baking breat using WFP fortified wheat flour donated by the European Commission. She says her family used to live in much better conditions, but when her husband fell ill he had to give up his job. That is when she decided to apply for WFP food rations.
Soaad’s daughter, 21-year-old Shereen, finished her secondary education four years ago but poverty prevented her from pursuing a higher degree. However, Shereen still hopes that one day she will be able to attend university. For now though she assists her mother with the daily house chores. With the help of WFP’s food ration she can bake bread for her daughters and younger sisters. Thanks to a generous donations from the European Commission Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and other donors, WFP has so far assisted close to 330,000 people monthly in Palestine in 2012 and 2013.
Mazen is 50 years old and was the main breadwinner in his large family of 13 members. Though, his poor health left him without a job and totally dependent on WFP food assistance. He prepares falafel sandwiches for his grandchildren using his WFP ration; the chickpeas for preparing the paste, the vegetable oil for deep frying the falafel and the wheat flour for baking the bread.
Suhaila lifts up her granddaughter Soheir. Suhaila is a 49-year-old housewife whose husband is unable to work because of an illness. A total of 10 family members live in this small house in Gaza. “Thank God we receive WFP food assistance and we get wheat flour to ensure we have enough food to feed the family,” she says.
Majed, Suhaila’s grandson gets quite excited when he sees his grandmother coming home with the WFP ration. He especially recognizes the bag of wheat flour; the ECHO-donated 50 kg sack means his grandmother will bake him ‘manaqeesh’ (traditional bread with herbs).
Rania, an 18-year-old newlywed, bakes bread using the wheat flour her family receives as part of their ration. Rania's husband is jobless at the moment, but they both remain optimistic about the future. In 2012, the unemployment rate in Gaza was 31 percent mainly as a result of the ongoing blockade, which is the biggest obstacle for economic growth in Gaza.
13 August 2014 WFP and UNRWA Gaza Food Distribution (For the Media)
12 August 2014 WFP Delivers Food To Desperate Families In Gaza