Food Assistance in Southern Gaza

Emergency Food Assistance
State of Palestine
Palestine Emergency Food Assistance Project
Implementing Partner: Catholic Relief Services - Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza
Lead Member: Development and Peace (Caritas Canada)
People Served: 8,910
Budget: $2,219,822
Timeline: December 2023 – December 2024

On October 7, 2023, after an attack by Hamas militants on Israel, Israeli forces responded with a sustained aerial bombardment, a military siege and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. To date, more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed, more than 85% of the population have been internally displaced and have lost their homes, livelihoods, and belongings. Large-scale damage to residences, business, infrastructure, and restrictions on the availability of water, food and fuel have largely halted all economic and agricultural activities. Communications are cut regularly, and a lack of fuel has resulted in insufficient fuel for electricity generators, water treatment plants, and sewage pumping stations to operate. The ongoing war and border restrictions have hampered the delivery of consistent and sufficient humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

Even before the crisis, many families in Gaza faced acute food insecurity: In 2022, 65% of the Gaza population was either severely or moderately food insecure. Since the start of the war, these households have increasingly been forced to adopt negative coping strategies such as reducing the number of meals and portion sizes, and cutting adults’ consumption to allow children to eat. The Food Security Sector currently estimates that 2.3 million people, the entire population of Gaza, is food insecure.

Catholic Relief Services is preparing for a 12 month, Emergency Food Response in Gaza to serve 1,485 internally displaced families (approximately 8,910 people), with a focus on IDPs living within non-UN collective centers and IDPs staying with host families, in the southern governorates in Gaza. CRS will work with the El-Amal Rehabilitation Society (El-Amal) and Palestinian Organization for Development (POD) to implement the project. The current plan is to provide an initial round of in-kind ready to eat food assistance (equivalent to CAD$356 / household / month), followed by two additional rounds of either multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA) or in-kind food assistance (equivalent to CAD$279 / household / month), depending on assessed market functionality and access.

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