©FAO/Sanad Latifa

FAO provides emergency assistance to safeguard food security and livelihoods of vulnerable farmers and herders in the Gaza Strip

21/06/2021

The people in the Gaza Strip suffer from a poor humanitarian situation due to multiple challenges, including conflict, which escalated from 10 to 21 May 2021. As a result of this escalation, lives have been lost; livelihoods, homes and infrastructure have been damaged; basic services have been disrupted; and more than 106 000 people have been internally displaced.

The agriculture sector suffered extensive losses worth USD 204 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The majority of livestock holders experienced severe damages and losses to their herds, and more damages are expected, as farmers do not have access to animal feed. This is the result of the damages caused by the conflict, farmers’ lack of access to their land to carry out agricultural operations, and, consequently, reduced capacity to procure inputs. As the fodder stock depletes, the survival of livestock is put at risk, threatening animal production. The livestock sector requires approximately 600 tonnes of fodder per day, and without support the sector will be further damaged, which would have dire consequences on the livelihoods of 17 000 households.

In the north of the Gaza Strip, one of the largest agricultural input warehouses was destroyed, resulting in the loss of a significant share of inputs needed for production, notably fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, who were already suffering from a limited supply of electricity that powers essential infrastructure, including pumps for wells, face challenges accessing their farms and markets. This is limiting their ability to resume their agriculture-based livelihoods. These losses are expected to have lasting detrimental impacts on the agriculture sector, and the number of farmers and herders in need of assistance to restore their livelihoods is very high.

Thanks to a contribution of USD 610 000 from the Government of Belgium, through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, FAO will restore the productive capacities of 1 600 vulnerable pastoral families (8 960 people) through the distribution of fodder. Barley and wheat bran will be distributed to protect these households’ livelihoods and reduce the losses of key productive assets. Supporting livestock-holding families with fodder distribution is critical and will contribute to the restoration of the agriculture sector. FAO will work closely with the MoA and local non-governmental organizations to deliver this support.