U.N. WFP to cut back food assistance in Gaza, West Bank

The World Food Program (WFP) announced on Wednesday cuts in food to Gaza and the West Bank, because of a severe funding shortfall, saying the move will affect about 190,000 impoverished Palestinians.

The UN agency said it would, as of Jan. 1, suspend food assistance to 27,000 people in the West Bank. In addition, food aid to 165,000 people in the Israeli-occupied territory and in the Gaza Strip would be reduced by 20 percent.

“WFP has been forced, unfortunately, to make drastic cuts to the number of people that we support across Palestine, both in Gaza and the West Bank,” Stephen Kearney, WFP country director in the Palestinian Territories, told Reuters.

He said the agency was making the cutbacks “mainly because the amount of funding that we are receiving is dropping drastically.

According to Reuters, the WFP official imputed the shortfall to cuts by the United States, WFP’s biggest contributor, and other countries in aid to Palestinians.

The United Nations and the Palestinian Authority appealed on Monday for $350 million in aid for Palestinians next year, saying much more was needed but they had to be realistic after a year of funding cuts, especially by the Trump administration.

Other organizations and UN bodies, including UNRWA, have been affected by Washington’s funding cuts.

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