As part of its continued response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, UNRWA has partnered with WFP to provide one-time exceptional food parcels to more than 140,000 families across the Strip. The distribution is being coordinated with the Ministry of Social Affairs as a joint effort to help ensure sufficient access to food for people in Gaza. It also serves to inject much needed essential commodities into the local market.
The one-time food parcels consist of 10kgs of rice and 30kgs of flour and provide approximately 44 per cent of an average family’s calorie needs for a month. The distribution is designed for those not already receiving regular food assistance from UNRWA or WFP.
All eligible families receive the same size parcel, which will be distributed on designated days based on family size. Food parcels will be provided via UNRWA’s twelve distribution centres between 1:00pm and 6:00pm, commencing today until 28 August and excluding Fridays.
“UNRWA recognizes that the devastating situation in Gaza remains precarious and unpredictable; we know that most people have a limited ability to provide enough food for their families at the moment,” said Mr Scott Anderson, UNRWA’s Deputy Director of Operations in Gaza. “Whilst we continue our regular food assistance to 830,000 refugees, we and our food assistance partners, have a responsibility to do what we can to meet the urgent needs of the entire Gaza population at this tragic time. War does not discriminate and everyone has been affected.”
The distribution also comes in addition to the ready-to-eat food assistance that UNRWA and WFP are providing daily to 260,000 internally displaced persons sheltering in UNRWA and government schools. Families currently taking refuge in these shelters may also be eligible for the one-time food parcels.
Distribution will continue until all parcels are received. Further information for beneficiaries is available between 9am and 3pm everyday but Friday, on the food assistance hotline number in Gaza: 08 282 7463.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.