Swiss support for needy families in the Gaza Strip

The Swiss government, on Wednesday, provided financial support of 4.5 million Swiss francs (about 5 million dollars) to the United Nations World Food Program, to help needy families in the Gaza Strip.

The contribution from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will help the World Food Program to provide cash assistance to more than 1,150 non-refugee families living across Gaza through 2022.

Under the new system called the "Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance Program", each family receives a monthly cash transfer on a magnetic card that gives them the option to spend it on purchasing the basic commodities they badly need from the local market.

"We are grateful for the generous support provided by Switzerland, which will help us reach some of the poorest Palestinian families, who are finding it difficult to obtain food amid the increasing difficulties they are experiencing," said Acting WFP Country Director in Palestine.

She added, "Food security and poverty reduction are two sides of the same coin and require our collective efforts to save the most vulnerable and needy and change their lives for the better."

Mary Gilbrin, Director of Cooperation in the Office of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Gaza and the West Bank, said: “Through this pilot program, we want to support needy families in Gaza to cover their basic needs. We want to give these families the freedom to choose how to prioritize their spending and needs. Ultimately, this will preserve their dignity. By increasing the purchasing power of households, we also hope that this will have a positive impact on the local market. "

The World Food Program launched its first multi-purpose cash assistance in Gaza in October 2020 thanks to financial support from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) office.

During 2021, the World Food Program intends to continue providing regular food assistance to some 345,000 needy non-refugee residents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, mainly through food vouchers and in-kind food parcels. The program has also provided cash assistance to about 95,000 people who have been severely affected since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


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