RAMALLAH – The 2020 Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey shows that less than half of households
in Palestine were food secure in 2020, with food security conditions deteriorating between 2018 and 2020
especially in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) today released the 2020 Socio-Economic and
Food Security Survey (SEFSec) prepared in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This latest report in the Palestine SEFSec
report series provides a comprehensive assessment of food security conditions in Palestine during the
year 2020 and analyses changes to the food security landscape that emerged between 2018 and 2020.
The report finds that less than half of the households in Palestine were food secure in 2020, with
considerable regional divergence between the West Bank and Gaza: while over 60 percent of households
in the West Bank are food secure, over 60 percent of households in the Gaza Strip are moderately or
severely food insecure. Furthermore, the report indicates that at both the national and regional level food
security conditions deteriorated between 2018 and 2020.
The data published in the report and the corresponding SEFSec surveys were collected by the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in coordination with Food Security Sector (FSS) partners. The
comprehensive nature of the SEFSec surveys enables the report to reveal the multiple facets and
underlying determinants of the food security conditions in Palestine, in addition to providing an overview
of food security levels for households in Palestine and trends over time.
The report shows the expansion of food insecurity in the Gaza Strip in 2020, with severe food insecurity
levels almost rising in 2020 in the southern and central sub-regions. All determinants underlying food
security deteriorated over the past two years, especially in urban areas and refugee camps. These analyses
point to Gaza’s widespread and intensifying food insecurity situation.
In the West Bank, the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were evident with the greatest change
seen in households who were previously food secure. The regional variances are pronounced in the West
Bank with the southern sub-region falling further behind with twice the percentage of food insecure
households compared with the North and Center sub-regions. Severe food insecurity increased in the
North while the South and Center saw slight improvements over the past two years. Food security
conditions remained consistently worse in Area C than Areas A and B.
The report aims to provide clear evidence and conclusions that can be used to understand the food security landscape in Palestine. Further findings from this new iteration of the report will be published in a a digital data platform to be launched by MAS in January 2021, followed by a set of forward-looking policy issues papers, examining in-depth implications of the findings.
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