JERUSALEM : The World Food Programme has suspended or reduced aid for some of its  Palestinian beneficiaries in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip due to funding shortages, an official with the organisation said Sunday.

Some 27,000 Palestinians are no longer receiving aid through the United Nations programme since January 1, in the West Bank, said Stephen Kearney, the organisation's director for the Palestinian territories.

Another 165,000 including 110,000 in Gaza, are receiving 80 percent of the usual amount, he said.

The cuts were decided upon after a gradual reduction in donations over the past nearly four years, with US cuts having the biggest effect.

In 2018, the WFP assisted 250,000 people in Gaza and 110,000 in the West Bank.

In the village of Yatta near Hebron in the southern West bank, Maha AI-Nawajah said she is buying fewer necessities.

''In December, they did not renew my card,'' said the 52-year-old mother, referring to the WFP card that allowed her to buy groceries for 12 members of her extended family. She said family members were unemployed.

''My sons do not have permissions to enter into Israel and my husband receives it occasionally'' and can earn some cash during those times, she said.

The West Bank has an unemployment rate of 18 percent and some Palestinians seek to work in Israel with the hope of earning a higher salary. [AFP]


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