The UN Marks World Food Day in Palestine
16 October 2022
Today, the UN in Palestine is marking World Food Day at a time when the world is facing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Millions globally are at risk of increasing hunger: all of us must respond at scale to the drivers of this crisis: conflict, climate shocks, and the threat of a global recession.
In Palestine, the United Nations estimates 1.78 million people experience some form of food insecurity, meaning they lack regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development. The World Food Programme estimates that 75 percent (260,000) of the 350,000 Palestinians receiving food assistance in September 2022 resorted to negative coping mechanisms, such as buying less food or going into debt. Increasing costs, limited funding and the need to adapt to climate shocks mean Palestinian farmers may have to reduce production which will inevitably result in only more food insecurity.
The UN is responding to these needs and working with Palestinians to ensure they can develop resilient food systems. In 2021, UNRWA provided over one million Palestinians in Gaza with emergency food assistance. To improve their immediate food and nutritional needs, the World Food Programme supported 6,000 vulnerable people with a range of climate-resilient agricultural assets, such as hydro and aquaponics, greenhouses, livestock, poultry, beehives, and solar panels units, The Food and Agricultural Organisation supported over 15 000 farmers, fishers and herders, providing farm and dairy equipment, fodder, and investment in the agri-food system. They also build capacities to increase employment, income, and livelihood resilience.
Food is a basic human need; without it, other development needs cannot be addressed. Only with solidarity and cooperation in promoting sustainable agri-food system development will we see better production, nutrition, environment and lives for every Palestinian household and community.