Food Security for Gaza Families

Empowering marginalised communities to become more self-sufficient and food secure

The Gaza blockade and long-standing restrictions on the movement of people and goods to, from and within the Gaza Strip have continued to undermine the living conditions of 1.7 million Gazans. Farmers, traders and businessmen are unable to get their goods to markets and hundreds of businesses have closed as a result.

41% of Gaza households are food insecure and about 80% are aid recipients. (1.3 million people in Gaza are reliant on food aid.) 47.2% of refugees in Gaza are unemployed

We supported several rural communities living in extreme poverty (including families in Mughraqa village, Sheikh Ajleen and Zeitun) in the southern area of Gaza through our Food Security programmes. All of these families owned land that was not being used. We provided training to the heads of these households in how to cultivate plants and vegetables, animal management, irrigation systems, environmentally sustainable farming techniques and how to successfully develop their small enterprises. We then provided essential equipment such as, irrigation network pipes, water tanks, and a variety of seedlings, shrubs, fruit trees and hens, chickens, rabbits, sheep and goats.

farmers 1.pngIn 2016, we worked with 209 deprived farmers by purchasing their land and farm poultry produce. With the support and funding from WA’s project team, these farmers were able to sell their products efficiently and earn a steady income again. This was then distributed to 720 impoverished families in urgent need of food assistance. Families, who otherwise struggled to meet their daily food needs received fresh food parcels over the course of five weeks, positively contributing to their overall health and wellbeing. Despite providing humanitarian support, the project had lasting impacts enabling farmers to re-plant and farm their lands to ensure they can continue to earn an income once the project ends.  

We have revisited some of the farmers we have supported in these projects and they have all sustained and extended their ranges of herbs and vegetables and increased the numbers of animals on their land. This is a livelihoods project enabling some of the poorest families in Gaza to become self-sufficient and also provide food for their local communities.

Our latest project, restoring the livelihoods of 66 farmers in Gaza, was successfully completed in April 2018. We worked with struggling farmers who owned smaller plots of land in Beit Lahia, Zaytoon, Gaza City, Khan Younis and Juhr Al Deek. Their land and equipment were damaged or destroyed during the Israeli military bombardments over the summer of 2014. The project activities helped the farmers to clear and plough the land, install irrigation networks, and then to plant, grow and harvest their crops.

Throughout the project farmers were provided with technical advice on crop types to best suit the soil, environmentally friendly methods of pest management, and use of water, to maximise the quality and quantity of the yield. The final yield is expected to deliver over 300 tons of crops including aubergines, potatoes, peppers, courgettes, etc.

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Farmers were also assisted in the marketing of the crops as this project was linked to our Ramadan food distribution project. All of the crops were bought and packaged as part of the 5 weeks of fresh food parcels that WA distributed to hundreds of impoverished families throughout Gaza. With their crops sold, all of the farmers will generate an income enabling them to support their families again and also to buy seedlings to replant for the coming season.

 The project rehabilitated 127 dunums of land [1 dunum=1000m sq.] which had suffered extensive damage during the Israeli military bombardments in the summer of 2014. With the restoration of damaged agricultural assets the farmers were able to return their land to productivity. The project also provided 1,100 working days for 59 unemployed labourers.

This project has helped to prevent further erosion of livelihoods assets and enabled the targeted farmers to build up their resilience against potential future shocks, and also to increase their food security. These farmers are expected to harvest around 322 tonnes of crops from the rehabilitated lands, including aubergines, potatoes, cucumbers, melons, green peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, parsley, dill, corn, green beans, molokhia, lettuces, cauliflowers, cabbage, okra and radishes. Many of these crops were harvested during Ramadan, when they were bought from the farmers and distributed to at least 1000 of the most vulnerable families in Gaza. This project is sustainably securing livelihoods, as all of the farmers in this project are replanting their lands for the next season; it is also contributing to the food security of local communities.

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See Also

Nadine's Story

Helping marginalised families cultivate their unused land to become food secure

Read more > Nadine's Story