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UN Agency To Buy Palestinian Olive Oil

UN Agency To Help Ease Hardship Of Palestinian Farmers By Buying Olive Oil

In an effort to address the dire social and economic conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the United Nations World Food Programme today announced a plan to purchase $1.3 million worth of olive oil from 2,600 selected poor farmers.

Working in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture WFP will deliver the 416 tons of olive oil to the Rome-based agency’s beneficiaries living in Gaza and the south of the West Bank who have limited access to oil due to its high cost and unavailability in markets.

“By purchasing the oil directly from the farmers, we are able to assist the most vulnerable in the Palestinian Territories while simultaneously helping the local economy of the West Bank." WFP's Jean-Luc Siblot said.

Curfews and border closures, including restrictions on road access and movement in the West Bank, have had a serious impact on the economy of the Territories. Farmers often face difficulties tending their olive groves and selling the oil produced.

A similar purchase of oil by WFP last year enabled farmers to cover the costs of maintaining the olive groves, thereby securing this year's crop and improving the livelihood of farm households. The project has made it possible for participating households to be financially self-sufficient under very difficult circumstances.

WFP aims to provide food aid to 530,000 Palestinians impoverished due to the deteriorating security and economic conditions. In the past six months, it has distributed 24,000 tons of food, including wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil and lentils.

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