Ranch Colony Is Highly Profitable - Jerusalem/Gaza (Reuters)
The World Food Programme (WFP) is to cut food aid next year to about 190,000 poor Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank due a shortage of funds, the WFP's senior official for the Palestinian Territories said on Wednesday.
The moves follows the slashing of U.S. aid funding to humanitarian agencies working in the territories by the Trump administration.
"WFP has been forced, unfortunately, to make drastic cuts to the number of people that we support across Palestine, both in Gaza and the West Bank," WFP country director Stephen Kearney told Reuters in Jerusalem.
From Jan. 1, the United Nations agency will suspend food assistance to 27,000 people in the West Bank. In addition, food aid to 165,000 people in the Israeli-occupied territory and in the Gaza Strip would be reduced by 20 percent from $10 to $8 per person each month.
The U.S. cuts affected 40 per cent of total WFP funding, Kearney said.
"The major donor that we have had in the past years has been the U.S. They have cut funding, not just to UNRWA, who work with the refugees in Gaza, but also to the rest of the humanitarian community, including WFP," he said.
Kearney said Gaza's underlying problems would remain as long as Israel maintained its blockade and Palestinian factional infighting continued, preventing a political solution.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, declined comment.
In Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for the ruling Hamas group, urged the United Nations to "continue to provide the needs of the Palestinian people until they regain their freedom."