WFP today welcomed a donation of US$350,000 from the government of Cyprus for impoverished Palestinians suffering the effects of a faltering economy and restrictions on movement in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The donation was announced during a ceremony in Rome at which Sotos Zackheos, Permanent Secretary of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed a memorandum of understanding with WFP to lay the foundation of a long-term partnership.
New strategic partner
We look forward to developing a long-term partnership that reflects our shared vision of a world free of hunger
John Powell, WFP’s Deputy Executive Director
“The Republic of Cyprus recognizes through this cooperation agreement the importance of WFP’s interventions in those parts of the world that are plagued by war, poverty and disease,” Mr Zackheos said.
“Cyprus is acquiring a new strategic partner in its endeavours for the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.”
“We are very grateful for this generous and timely contribution, and we look forward to developing a long-term partnership that reflects our shared vision of a world free of hunger,” said John Powell, WFP’s Deputy Executive Director.
The Cypriot funding will assist 12,000 disabled and disadvantaged children, vulnerable women and elderly Palestinians in cash-strapped social institutions.
WFP supports more than 150 such institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Catholic Relief Services.
The sharp decline in international funding to the Palestinian Authority in January has had a severe adverse impact across the territories, while the hostilities of recent weeks and the repeated closure of commercial crossing points is exacerbating economic hardship.
WFP now has four days of emergency food stocks in its Gaza warehouses (500 metric tonnes) for an expanded caseload of 220,000 people. These will be supplemented over the next few days, assuming the key Karni crossing point remains open.
About 70 percent of Gaza’s 1.4 million people cannot afford to meet their basic food needs.
Power outages at the hottest time of the year persist following the destruction of Gaza’s main power station, which supplies half the territory’s electricity. Most Gaza residents now have power for less than eight hours a day. With fuel costs equivalent to about US$15 an hour, few can afford generators.
This is the second donation by Cyprus to WFP this year. In April, it gave US$50,000 to help victims of drought and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa.