GAZA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) began on Tuesday to distribute food to 30,000 people at six sites in Gaza– part of its regular monthly programme to 285,000 vulnerable people in the Gaza Strip. The UN food agency is also supplying wheat flour to bakeries for the provision of free bread to people who lost their homes in areas affected by the recent violent events.
WFP will also provide emergency food assistance in the coming days in different areas of Gaza to 350 families – around 2,100 people – whose houses were destroyed during the recent attacks. These families will receive for an initial period of 10 days a ration of canned food and bread, through local bakeries using WFP wheat flour.
WFP has sufficient food pre-positioned inside and outside Gaza to cover the needs of its usual caseload of 285,000 people for more than three months. Under its regular operations, WFP uses food vouchers, school meals and food rations to poor and food insecure households who are affected by the on-going blockade.
The agency will monitor local market prices and food availability for early signs of escalating food needs and as soon as the situation allows, WFP and its partners will conduct a rapid food security assessment, including a review of household needs, food market conditions and commercial stocks.
WFP is concerned about access to people in the territory if conflict escalates and humanitarian needs increase. Access to Gaza is a significant challenge under normal circumstances.
On Tuesday, four trucks with WFP food stocks attempted to enter via the Karem Shalom crossing but had to turn back due to rocket fire. The trucks were carrying 120 metric tons of food, enough to feed 5,600 people for a month. It is critical to ensure this access point is open for humanitarian food and other supplies in the coming days.