GAZA—As the fighting continues in Gaza, food distributions will commence today for more than 30,000 people to prevent the conflict from deepening hunger in this already food-insecure region.
WFP is also planning to provide emergency rations to some 350 families whose homes were destroyed during recent attacks. They will receive bread as well as canned foods for an initial period of 10 days.
“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza and will continue to assist the most vulnerable households, many of whom have been affected by the violence,” said WFP Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territories Pablo Recalde.
WFP has enough food in its Gaza warehouses to cover the food needs of 285,000 people, about 60 percent of the non-refugee population, for one month. That consists of bread, canned tuna and nutritionally fortified date-bars.
It has enough food outside of the area to last its residents another two months if necessary. However, access to Gaza is challenging even under normal circumstances. WFP is concerned about its ability to continue reaching those in need should the conflict escalate.
WFP is also keeping a watchful eye on the local markets. An area already suffering from high levels of food insecurity, hunger in Gaza could get even worse if people can’t leave their homes, stores run out of food or banks run out of money.
Home to nearly 1.7 million people, the Gaza Strip is a small but densely populated area, which has been under a blockade since 2006. A faltering economy and rampant poverty have made it increasingly difficult for local residents to buy nutritious food.
The blockade on Gaza has seriously hampered the movement of goods, services and people. Gazans depend on an underground tunnel to Egypt for many of their basic needs.