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West Bank & Gaza Strip

West Bank & Gaza Strip

Read more about FAO in emergencies and Gaza crisisPalestinian farmers, fishers and herders face many challenges to make a living. As the Separation Barrier and Israeli settlements expand, farmers have increasingly less land and water resources for their crops and animals. In addition to access constraints, families face disproportionate economic hurdles. For example, many must rely on water brought by tankers, which costs four-times more than the networked water supply.

The high costs of livelihood inputs – such as fertilizer and animal feed – reduce farmers’ profits and inflate market prices. These conditions lock communities in a situation of poverty, leaving one in five Palestinians food insecure. FAO projects introduce sustainable ways for families to increase their livelihood potential, and to produce more and better quality food among a population that is expected to double in the next 20 years.

A greener landscape and skyline

FAO assists communities to continue and improve farming, whether on their fields or rooftops. Innovative methods of producing food – such as establishing vegetable gardens on the tops of buildings and fishponds that recycle nutrients and moisture to sustain crops – maximize the use of limited space and resources. Another key focus is to ensure that poor families with land have the agricultural inputs they need to continue farming, as there is greater chance to retain access to their land when actively cultivated. The seeds and other inputs FAO provides are of high quality so people can obtain more food and income from their plots.

Increasing water access

Water scarcity affects most people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, complicating efforts to grow crops and raise livestock. FAO is working with partners to build and repair cisterns to collect rainwater – an investment that means big savings for poor families without access to water networks and unable to afford tankered water. In addition, FAO is building grey wastewater treatment units that recycle water daily, providing supplementary irrigation for rangeland and home gardens.

Investing in people

FAO supports junior farmer field and life schools (JFFLSs) that teach agricultural, life and entrepreneurial skills to school girls and boys. Covering everything from how to produce and preserve food to nutrition to business management, the schools aim to instil confidence and self-esteem in young people and develop their potential. FAO also helps farmers’, herders’ and women’s groups to develop or strengthen business plans, avail themselves of services such as microfinance and veterinary care, improve product quality and explore marketing options. Through one programme, for example, local women’s associations are earning income by providing in-school feeding to students during JFFLS sessions.

Planning and responding together

As Agriculture Sector lead, FAO facilitates the coordination of food security and agriculture interventions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Around 35 organizations meet regularly – including the Palestinian Authority, national and international NGOs and civil society – to agree on needs, priorities, the type and timing of interventions. This partnership lays the foundation to rapidly and effectively reach people most in need, based on what they need most.


More about the country

 - To mitigate household food insecurity in vulnerable and marginalized areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (especially for those who lost access to sea and more
 - To prevent the erosion of herders’ productive assets, minimize the risk of them becoming dependent on aid and minimize the negative effects of external shocks on more
 - Améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle des ménages pauvres et vulnérables dans les zones urbaines de la bande de Gaza au travers de l'agriculture urbaine et more
 - To improve the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable farmers, animal herders and fisherfolk in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by protecting their productive capacity. more
 - To improve rural livelihoods in vulnerable communities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by maintaining agricultural activities and restoring farmers’ employment opportunities.
 - FAO expresses concern for the food security of all people in Gaza during the Cairo International Conference on Palestine, “Reconstructing Gaza”, hosted today by the Government more
 - To achieve a significant and sustainable reduction in poverty and food insecurity for 150 Bedouin families, and to improve their income by an average of USD more
 - Everyone in the Gaza Strip – nearly 1.8 million people – was affected by the recent escalation in conflict and needs humanitarian aid. This is the third such conflict in six more
 - Every man, woman and child of the Gaza Strip – nearly 1.8 million people – has been directly affected by the recent escalation in conflict and more
 - Ciro Fiorillo, Head of FAO's office in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in an interview with Sybil Ruscoe of BBC Radio 4 Farming Today podcast regarding agriculture in Gaza. The conflict more