Fund Shortage: WFP discloses plan to suspend aid to over 200,000 Palestinians
The World Food Programme (WFP) has disclosed a plan to suspend food aid to over 200,000 impoverished Palestinians from next month due to a “severe” shortage of funds.
The group’s senior official for the Palestinian territories, Samer Abdeljaber, stated that “WFP is forced to make painful choices to stretch the limited resources” and that “WFP would have to start suspending assistance to over 200,000 people, which is 60 percent of its current caseload, from June.”
The most affected families are in Gaza, where food insecurity and poverty are at their highest, as well as in the West Bank.
The UN agency provides monthly vouchers worth $10.30 per person and food baskets to impoverished Palestinians, both of which will be affected by the suspension.
Israel’s blockade, along with Egypt, has led to restrictions on the movement of people and goods for years, citing security concerns with the enclave’s Hamas rulers. Abdeljaber explained that the suspension decision was taken to save those at the highest risk of not being able to afford their food, and the agency will continue its aid to 140,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank.
However, unless funding is received, WFP will be forced to suspend food and cash assistance entirely by August.
This announcement has caused dozens of Palestinians to protest outside the WFP offices in Gaza City, chanting “No to Hunger.” Faraj Al-Masri, a father of two, whose family gets vouchers worth $41.20 per month, stated that “the voucher is life, the message they sent us equals death since there is no other source of income.”