close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
January 14, 2019

Fund shortage: World Food Programme cuts aid for Palestinians

World

AFP
January 14, 2019

JERUSALEM: The World Food Programme has suspended or reduced aid for some of its Palestinian beneficiaries in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip due to funding shortages, an official with the organisation said Sunday. Some 27,000 Palestinians are no longer receiving aid through the United Nations programme since January 1 in the West Bank, said Stephen Kearney, the organisation's director for the Palestinian territories.Another 165,000, including 110,000 in Gaza, are receiving 80 percent of the usual amount, he said.

The cuts were decided upon after a gradual reduction in donations over the past nearly four years, with US cuts having the biggest effect. In 2018, the WFP assisted 250,000 people in Gaza and 110,000 in the West Bank. In the village of Yatta near Hebron in the southern West Bank, Maha Al-Nawajah said she is buying fewer necessities.

"In December, they did not renew my card," said the 52-year-old mother, referring to the WFP card that allowed her to buy groceries for 12 members of her extended family. She said family members were unemployed.

"My sons do not have permission to enter into Israel and my husband receives it occasionally" and can earn some cash during those times, she said. The West Bank has an unemployment rate of 18 percent and some Palestinians seek to work in Israel with the hope of earning a higher salary.

But permits are needed to do so and Israel is selective in who is given one. The WFP launched a funding appeal on December 19 and received additional contributions from the European Union and Switzerland, but the amount remains short, Kearney said.

It said at the time that it was in need of $57 million. It will now seek contributions from new donors in an effort to fill the gap, he said. Kearney said there were also concerns that the cuts would affect the local economy since residents used the cards to buy goods in local stores. In the Gaza Strip, around 80 percent of the two million residents rely on international aid.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus