Agrifood Economics


Comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis for the West Bank and Gaza Strip (CFSVA) - Report
Publication date
Since the onset of the Israeli occupation in 1967, the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) has been an “income economy” rather than a “production economy”—making the WBGS extremely vulnerable to the Israeli labour and goods market. With the beginning of the current Intifada in late September 2000, economic conditions have deteriorated in the WBGS as reported by FAO/WFP in the Food Security Assessment, West Bank and Gaza Strip, 2003. High population growth rates outpaced real GDP growth, leading to a steady decline in per capita GDP. This deterioration has worsened since the beginning of 2006, following the election of the Hamas government and the subsequent severing of assistance to the Palestinian Authority by the international community. The impact of such deterioration on the socio-economic situation is more acute in the Gaza Strip than the West Bank. Stringent closure policies on the movement of goods and people in the WBGS into Israel since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000 have negatively impacted the lives of the Palestinian population. The isolation of markets, widespread unemployment, and an economic crisis are continuing to cause a serious decline in living standards. The impact of this on food security levels is less clear as people adapt their livelihood strategies in order to maintain their food intake and resort to very dynamic response mechanisms. The fundamental question of how long these viable options will remain available to people has not been answered, and the local authorities and international aid community continue to shift their intervention policies to mitigate the effects of the crisis.