The right to food is a human right, protected under international law. It protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  Sadly, Palestinians are denied that right. Food insecurity is a major problem in the occupied territories, with one in three households struggling to provide adequate nutrition for their families.

[1]

According to the World Food Programme, food insecurity in Palestine is driven primarily by poverty linked to the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza Strip, not the lack of food, which makes sufficient, nutritious food out of reach for many”. Because of the occupation, Palestinians suffer from travel restrictions and can’t get access to essential natural resources or trade with other countries. This has resulted in higher prices of basic food items and reduced the purchasing power of many families. Unemployment rates are also high in the occupied territories and even when people manage to find a job, salaries remain low.

Being food insecure has real, devastating effects on the health of Palestinians, including children. For example about 10% of children under 5 in Gaza have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. Anemia is widespread in Gaza, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6% of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers.[2]

Until the constraints of the occupation and the blockade are lifted, the Palestinian economy will continue to suffer and jobs offering decent wages will remain inaccessible. Poverty, and therefore food insecurity, will remain.

Ask your MP to call on the Israeli government to end restrictions in the West Bank and lift the blockade on Gaza; allowing free movement of people and goods so that the Palestinian economy can develop itself and create jobs. This will improve households’ incomes and increase food security.



[1] 19% of households in the West Bank and 57 % in Gaza are food insecure. http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp259657.pdf

[2] Gaza’s children: Falling behind? The effect of the blockade on child’s health in Gaza – 2012 http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/docs/Gazas-Children-Falling-Behind.pdf