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Israel and the occupied/autonomous territories: Relief for needy families in the West Bank

16-05-2002 News Release 02/20

The ICRC recently resumed its aid programme for 10,000 of the neediest families in the West Bank, which had had to be suspended during the military incursions in April.

The ICRC recently resumed its aid programme for 10,000 of the neediest families in the West Bank (approximately 60,000 people), which had had to be suspended during the military incursions in April. The programme, which began earlier this year, focuses on families who have lost their main source of income or face other difficulties obtaining food and basic necessities. Unemployment has increased dramatically as many West Bank villages remain sealed off.

Hygiene parcels and food parcels containing flour, rice, sugar, beans, lentils, vegetable oil, coffee and tea were distributed this week to more than 1,900 families in 23 villages in the governorate of Jenin.  Distributions are also currently under way in Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho, and will reach other areas of the West Bank in the coming weeks.

A special relief programme addressing the needs of 1,000 families in the old city of Hebron has been carried out on a monthly basis without interruption since the beginning of the year. A total of 760 families were assisted last week.

In view of the deteriorating living conditions of an increasing number of West Bank inhabitants, the ICRC is giving serious consideration to the possibility of expanding its relief work in the near future.