Supporting Palestinian Farmers and Families to Overcome COVID-19 Crisis
In the occupied Palestinian territories, the COVID-19 crisis is hitting hard. Workers, farmers, and women, who were already facing enormous challenges in securing a decent livelihood and a healthy diet, are now struggling to get by during the economic crisis.
The pandemic meant that Palestinian farmers and workers from the West Bank, who normally cross into Israel each day, had to make a choice of whether to give up their livelihoods or stay in Israel away from their families. As tourists and pilgrims stop travelling, many workers who rely on daily wages from hospitality and tourism are out of work. And farmers who depend on selling their harvest to local markets have seen the demand for their produce collapse.
Above: Project staff prepare a delivery of fresh produce.
That’s why Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA is working with a local network of partner organisations – including the Bethlehem University Institute for Community Partnership, the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association – ASALA and the MA’AN Development Center – to make sure that vulnerable families still have access to healthy food, and to support agricultural workers as they overcome the crisis.
Above: More than 82,450 kilograms of fresh produce has been delivered in the emergency response.
The Emergency Response: Farmers in the Field and Food on the Table
By organising an emergency purchase and distribution of food packages, our local partner organisations have ensured that 200 farmers in the West Bank are still growing and selling their produce with a guaranteed price. The packing and distribution of these food parcels is providing temporary employment to seven laid-off workers, and 1,150 vulnerable families are receiving the food packages.
These weekly food packages have been distributed to families who have lost their income as a result of the pandemic, social and community care institutions, elderly people, people living with disabilities or chronic illness, people providing childcare, and people living under quarantine.
Above: Project staff and volunteers prepare parcels of fresh produce for emergency delivery.
So far, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has distributed 4,850 parcels of fresh vegetables to vulnerable households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the West Bank. These parcels contain around 82,450 kilograms of fresh produce, which is increasingly difficult to purchase for many Palestinian families as salaries collapse.
The distribution of food packages is also an opportunity to spread healthcare information to vulnerable people, including ways they can stay safe, contact medical help, and access testing facilities.
By partnering with a network of local organisations, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA is supporting Palestinian farmers to receive a fair price for their produce during the economic crisis, and we are supporting vulnerable families in the West Bank to access nutritious food during the pandemic.
The Ghalleh Project is implemented by Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA and its partner organisations the Bethlehem University – Institute for Community Partnership, the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association (ASALA), and the MA’AN Development Center.