WFP hands out ready to eat meals to the hungry in Gaza
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has widened its emergency relief programme in the occupied
Palestinian territory by distributing ready-to-eat meals to feed sick and injured patients in hospitals across
Gaza. This is in addition to WFP’s normal distributions of standard rations such as wheat flour, cooking oil and chickpeas to 365,000
people affected by conflict and food shortages.
“The ready-to-eat meals offer an immediate solution to the food needs of hospital patients, who might otherwise go
hungry,” said WFP Emergency
Coordinator, Gemmo Lodesani. “Cooking gas is still in short supply, and
without this intervention, patients might miss out on a nutritious daily meal.”
In the coming days, WFP aims to distribute more than 40,000 ready-to-eat meals that come in packages containing items such as canned meat, chicken
curry, cheese and biscuits. The first tranche of ready-to-eat meals were part of a donation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in response to
“Operation Lifeline Gaza” appeal. As well as distributing the meals to
hospital patients, WFP will also provide them to school children as a one-off ration.
Since the resurgence of conflict in Gaza on 27 December, WFP has distributed two month rations
of food to more than 220,000 people. In addition, WFP is providing free school meals to 30,000 children, and has distributed one-off
emergency packages including date bars, bread, high energy biscuits and canned goods to more than 150,000 people.
“As each day passes, we get closer to reaching our overall target of 365,000 people among the non-refugee population in
Gaza,” Lodesani said, adding that products such as the ready-to-eat meals, and date bars manufactured in Egypt, provided a
practical solution to the hunger needs of people affected by conflict.
WFP is requesting the opening of all border crossings between Israel and Gaza, as well as those between Israel and Egypt, to allow a steady flow of
humanitarian assistance to those most in need. Under current conditions, an average of 70 trucks are crossing the border into Gaza each day, which is
less than 10 per cent of what would be required to meet the normal commercial requirements of the people living there.
WFP is appealing for US$81.2 million to meet the emergency food
requirements of the 365,000 people it is aiming to feed in Gaza. So far it has received barely 10 per cent of the funding required to support this