By Cecilia Ologunagba
The World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday began providing emergency assistance to support families, amid fears of low food stocks and rising prices, in responding to rising humanitarian needs brought about by the escalation of conflict in the Gaza Strip.
The cash support from the UN agency, which is working alongside partners, will benefit more than 51,000 people in Northern Gaza.
They include residents who now require assistance for the first time, as well as people who were already WFP beneficiaries but who had been uprooted by the violence.
Samer AbdelJaber, WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine said, “For people who have lost or fled their homes, one of the most pressing needs at the moment is food.
“The quickest and most effective way we can provide support is with cash, in the form of e-vouchers.
“Food is available for the time and many local shops are still open, including those we have already been contracted for our regular e-voucher support.”
WFP warned that the closure of crossings from Israel could soon lead to a scarcity in commodities, including food, and also cause food prices to rise.
The cost of fresh produce is already heading upwards as farmers are unable to reach their land.
WFP is working with partners to determine emergency food assistance needs for people staying in UN shelters.
Other humanitarian agencies are also using its cash-based voucher electronic platform to provide non-food and other basic assistance to affected people.
Furthermore, WFP is supporting coordination of humanitarian cargo that may need to enter the enclave if borders remain closed. (NAN)