The United Nations’ based World Food Programme (WFP) has decided to cut the food assistance to nearly 190,000 needy Palestinians in the plagued Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank due to monetary shortages.
According to the UN food organization, the funding shortages by the US is to be blamed for its decision to cut food aid to Palestinians. It is the agency’s main contributor, and the biggest one among other countries offering help to Palestinians.
While speaking to the media, WFP country director in the Palestinian Territories, Stephen Kearney, said that WFP can’t do anything, sadly it has no option other than making hefty cuts to the number of people they have been supporting across Palestine, both in the West Bank and Gaza. The decision will reportedly come into practice after ten days that is January 1.
The WFP added that following the decision will suspend the food assistance given to around 27,000 people in the West Bank. The agency also mentioned that food aid to 165,000 needy individuals in Gaza and Israeli-occupied territory would also witness a 20 percent cut.
As per Kearney, the agency has reached on this resort mainly due to the drastic cut in the amount of funding they receive from the US. This is not only applicable on WFP, as it’s throughout the whole humanitarian community as the contributions by donor decline notably.
On Monday, the UN and the Palestinian Authority requested for $350 million in humanitarian relief for Palestinians in 2019, knowing that much more was needed but at the same time they had to remain realistic, following a year that saw many funding cuts. Most of the funding cuts have been made by the Trump administration, which has taken an increasingly rigid stance toward Palestine.
In last December, the US-Palestine relationship deteriorated severely, when Trump announced Jerusalem al-Quds to be the ‘capital’ of Israel and decided to shift the embassy to the occupied city from Tel Aviv.
Following the argumentative move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas officially declared that the Palestinians would not accept the US as a mediator to resolve the conflict any longer, owing to the fact that Washington was fully biased towards Tel Aviv.
According to Kearney, the WFP needs $57 million to continue delivering the existing level of food aid to 360,000 people in next year.
He made it clear that the people they have been reaching were the neediest ones across Palestine.