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Supporting Food Security Among Vulnerable Households in the Gaza Strip

31 March 2021 — By Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe Regional Office for West and Central Asia

This final evaluation report draws on the results of several monitoring and evaluation activities, including two midterm focus group discussions (FGDs), two endline FGDs, three (one every two distribution cycles) rounds of post-distribution monitoring (PDMs), and one baseline survey performed as part of the evaluation process of this project. Overall, this project targeted 88 households (HHs) among the most impoverished in Gaza and Khan Yunis Governorates with five months of food vouchers between July and December 2020. The project was designed as a contribution to the response effort to the current socio-economic crises of the Gaza Strip including skyrocketing unemployment and poverty rates.

The project targeted households with three tiers of food voucher support per month based on HH sizes: Category A (3-5 members) received 190 NIS monthly ($57); Category B (6-9 members) received 300 NIS ($90); and Category C (more than 9) received 380 NIS ($113). The vouchers covered two categories of food: vegetables and fruits, and meat and eggs. The vouchers were redeemed from four designated shops, two in each targeted governorate. The redemption process was facilitated by the RedRose platform managed cooperatively by Oxfam as Information Management System and Financial Service Provider (IMS/FSP) being a liason for RedRose, and PAEEP.

The FGDs and PDMs aimed at understanding the impact of the project on the beneficiary HH well-being and the level of coverage of their needs. The three PDM rounds assessed changes in the Food Consumption Scores (FCS) and Coping Strategies Index (CSI) of the surveyed beneficiaries in comparison to the baseline survey. They also aimed at assessing the beneficiary satisfaction regarding project components including the redemption process, the values of the vouchers, the modality, the complaints and feedback mechanism, the monitoring and evaluation process, the awareness sessions, and the overall impact of the project.

Overall, respondents in both the FGDs and PDM rounds reported that the project helped their HH better meet their basic needs and enjoy a more dignified life. The redemption process was said to be dignifying at all stages, including treatment at the shops. The project was also said to have helped beneficiary HHs increase the quality and diversity of their diets as represented by improved FCS and decreased reliance on coping strategies, as represented by the CSI.

Overall, the values of the vouchers were said to be acceptable, and covered more than 65% of the relevant food needs of beneficiary HHs in terms of the two categories of food provided. However, it was also noted that increasing the value of the vouchers would help these households cover their food needs more completely. The coverage period was largely said to be too short, with beneficiary HHs preferring interventions covering between six to twelve months.

Regarding modalities, beneficiary HHs indicated a preference for multipurpose cash and multi-purpose vouchers, followed by food vouchers and cash-for-rent. Respondents reported overall satisfaction with the complaints and feedback mechanism, and the level of responsiveness from PAEEP staff. The three cycles of PDM were also not perceived as too frequent or too burdensome by the beneficiaries. Overall, the project was found to have improved the well-being of the beneficiary HHs, specifically by reducing stress related to food insecurity.