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Humanitarian Assistance

Global Communities since 2005 has served as a leading provider of humanitarian assistance programs in the West Bank & Gaza, providing critical services for thousands of unemployed, vulnerable families. Today we continue to implement the largest Food-for-Work (FFW) and Food-for-Training (FFT) program in the country, funded by the UN World Food Programme (UN-WFP) and covering the entire Gaza Strip and the three major governorates in the West Bank.

Food Security

Global Communities has provided direct humanitarian assistance in partnership with the UN-WFP since 2005. Global Communities has implemented several cycles of the food security program in 170 communities in the West Bank and has reached more than 150,000 beneficiaries.

The current cycle of this program reaches an estimated 77,620 food-insecure people in communities across the West Bank through distribution of 2,027 metric tons of in-kind food assistance and $600,000 of electronic voucher assistance.

In addition to long-term support, Global Communities also provides emergency aid, as it did in 2012 when it undertook an emergency food distribution in Gaza. Despite Israeli air strikes that continued through the distributions, more than 22,000 people were assisted with rations which were more critical than ever with Gazans and their families unable to leave their homes and obtain food safely.

Key Innovations: Electronic Voucher System 

A unique aspect of Global Communities and WFP's food security program is the electronic voucher system, which allows community members to access food assistance any day of the week at predetermined stores in their community.  The voucher may be redeemed for a food ration that consists of bread, milk, yogurt, cheese, vegetable oil, salt, pulses and eggs.  

The day-to-day impact of the UN-WFP food distributions makes a tangible difference in the quality of life for community members such as Mr. Ibrahim Hafaytha, a citizen from Tulkarem in the West Bank who supports a family of seven. Ibrahim works as a farmer with a daily wage of approximately 30 shekels (approximately 9 USD), which is barely enough to provide for the basic needs of his family. Speaking about the program, he said, “Because of the UN-WFP assistance, I am now able to save 350 shekels (approximately 100USD) each month, allowing me to send my children to school. And through the program I was also able to ensure food security for my family”.

Previous Humanitarian Assistance Programs in the West Bank & Gaza

Palestinian Community Assistance Program (PCAP): The Palestinian Community Assistance Program (PCAP), funded by USAID through Mercy Corps, supported economic recovery and development in Gaza through the creation of income generation and business development opportunities. By meeting basic humanitarian needs like infrastructure and housing improvements, economic recovery, food security and health and social services, the program helped lay the foundation for long-term recovery.

The program was designed to improve socioeconomic conditions in Gaza which, even before military operations in December 2008, were dire. Operation Cast Lead created even more desperate conditions for large sections of the Gazan population; many families took refuge in UN shelters and sought assistance from various international donors to provide the most basic items needed for existence – food, water, and healthcare. Upon the cessation of Operation Cast Lead and in the ensuing months, international donors provided a wide range of humanitarian assistance, coordinated by the UN Logistics Cluster.

The ramifications of the continuing economic restrictions of Gaza are considerable; much of Gaza’s once thriving agricultural production has been lost. This adversely affects local food production, market prices, agricultural incomes and general nutrition. Housing, business, and infrastructure rehabilitation and/or reconstruction have been impeded by restrictions on import of construction materials, spare parts, trained technicians, and industrial inputs.

Key Accomplishments under PCAP

  • Housing Rehabilitation: PCAP undertook rehabilitation of houses in Gaza despite the challenges imposed by the Israeli blockade of construction material into Gaza. Global Communities helped rehabilitate 400 unsafe houses with broken walls, basic concrete flooring and no windows. The program also provided windows and doors to families living in homes that were damaged by the conflict or families that were too poor to do any repair work themselves. Now more than 1,500 families are protected from the harsh, rainy winters of Gaza, as well as stray and wild animals that might have entered their unprotected houses. Global Communities also assisted with the construction or rehabilitation of 20 community infrastructure projects identified in consultation with Gazan communities.
  • Livelihood & Agricultural Support: The program also supports economic recovery and development in Gaza through the creation of income generation and business development opportunities. PCAP built on the successes of the previously implemented Gaza Urban Agriculture Revitalization and Redevelopment program implemented by Global Communities by continuing to increase the availability of fresh foods, revitalizing the Gazan agricultural economy and reducing dependency of Gazan families on international food aid. This has been made possible through the provision of urban gardens to Gazan families along with animal production kit.

PCAP has introduced urban gardening activities to 1,000 families in Gaza to improve nutrition, food security, and promote greater self-sufficiency; introduced 300 Gazan families to animal husbandry activities, specifically, poultry production; and trained nearly 75 individuals on construction management or business management.