Food Security Status 2020 – Executive Summary
This report shows that less than half of the households in Palestine were food secure in 2020.
However, this figure obscures the considerable regional divergence in food security conditions between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Over 60 percent of households in the West Bank are food secure whereas over 60 percent of households in the Gaza Strip are moderately or severely food insecure.
The food security status of both regions deteriorated between 2018 and 2020. A full 1.78 million persons were moderately or severely food insecure across Palestine in 2020. In the West Bank, households that were previously food secure became marginally food secure while moderate and severe food insecurity expanded in the Gaza Strip. The breakdown in food security conditions over the period did not occur uniformly, and the sub-regions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were impacted differentially. The south sub-region of the West Bank fell further behind the north and center, as the share of food secure households in the south declined to less than half the corresponding shares in the north and center sub-regions in 2020, and the percentage share of moderately and severely food insecure households increased to twice as high as the percentage shares in the north and center sub-regions in that same year.
Having said that, the share of severely food insecure households in the south and center subregions declined between 2018 and 2020 while increasing in the north sub-region. In that same period, the share of moderately food insecure households increased in the south and center subregions and decreased in the north sub-region. This divergence may be understood in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic’s significant impact on the tourism sector, the local economy in the southern West Bank and the erratic relocation of citizens across cities depending on the lockdown statuses in the West Bank.
Furthermore, the analysis showed that food security conditions remained consistently worse in the West Bank’s Area C than Areas A and B in 2018 and 2020. In the Gaza Strip, the center and south sub-regions saw the share of severely food insecure households grow to almost double the share of food secure households in 2020. The greatest food security losses in the Gaza Strip occurred in the center and south sub-regions. Rural households experienced higher levels of food security than urban areas or refugee camps and were the only group to encounter improved food security conditions between 2018 and 2020.