Food Security Bulletin - Issue 25 - Winter 2021
The Food Security Bulletin (FSB) is published bi-annually by the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) as its contribution to the work of the Food Security Sector in Palestine. The Bulletin aims to support decision-makers and institutions working towards better food security in Palestine and be a useful and regular resource for reporting on the sector.
This Bulletin, covering the second half of 2021, opens with the latest Food Security news – namely the Socio-Economic and Food Security Survey (SEFSec) 2020 results. This report was conducted by MAS and in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as a part of the SEFSec Series since 2013. This year’s report shows the deterioration of food security levels in Palestine as COVID-19 impacts are being felt on the ground.
Furthermore, as part of the MAS initiative to ease access to important socio-economic data on Palestine, this year’s report was complemented by a data dashboard showcasing the most relevant and important food security and socioeconomic indicators. This dashboard can be found on the new MAS website under Data Resource Center (link).
The Bulletin also covers the Netherlands’ decision to discontinue its funding of the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees, on the basis of spurious allegations by Israel against several Palestinian NGOs. An adverse impact of such a cut-off of support can be expected \as the Netherlands has been a key partner of the PUAWC since 2013.
As always, this issue also provides updates on global and Palestinian food prices, comparing and attempting to explain their chances in the period. Lastly, the literature review looks at the resilience of the agriculture sector – especially in terms of what the experience of COVID-19 has taught us about the sector’s ability to cope with major crises or disasters. The review provides both the global perspective and a more nuanced Palestinian case study. Furthermore, this year’s review also looks at a study conducted on the digitalization of sustainable agri-food systems which discusses the potential and
risks for digitalization in this sector across the MENA region.
The second half of 2021 has given us the opportunity to come to terms with the real impact that COVID-19 has had on the agricultural sector in Palestine, as well as food security, the humanitarian crisis, and overall socio-economic development. As such, this bulletin is able to glimpse at the structural challenges facing the agricultural sector and food security in Palestine. One lesson learned through this experience is that while the Palestinian communities are resilient and did not face a major food crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, the levels of food-insecure households have increased showing the need for further capacity building measures in order to enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable households as well as the need for policy and programs that aim to strengthen the local food supply chain and lessen Palestinian dependence on imports and assistance.
While MAS continues to report on the overall food security situation in Palestine, it is also deepening and expanding its coverage of related issues, through both regular coverage of agriculture and related social development issues in the Quarterly Economic Monitor, as well as in-depth analytical policy studies on agriculture finance, food losses, the food system, and related SDGs. Through its comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, the Institute offers an inclusive forum for research and dialogue on the complex and evolving issues affecting food security and nutrition. Visit our new and updated website to learn more.