Missing Poultry

Missing Poultry

Before the summer war in Gaza began, two thirds of the population in Gaza was receiving food assistance, since then it has increased by 700,000 people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FOA). In August, while Gaza was still involved in the skirmishes, it is estimated that half of all poultry had gone missing. It is still unknown whether they were killed by a bomb that hit their shelter, died from starvation or are still wondering around somewhere. Also unaccounted for was 17,000 acres of cropland and agricultural infrastructure. Any crops that had not been harvested by early July were lost, when farmers had no choice but to flee their lands due to the bombing in the surrounding area. This affected about 3,600 families that relied on agricultural for their survival. Unfortunately, it was even worse in the cities because Hamas was launching attacks from hospitals, schools and apartment building using innocent Gaza residents as human shields.


(A Palestinian man takes his sheep to market on the eve of the Id al-Adha feast. Photo by AFP)

Although The Palestinian economy had entered into a recession before the summer war, in a World Bank report 70 percent of people were already living off of only $2 a day. Gaza’s already struggling economy took a huge hit after this summer’s attacks and agricultural loss. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, the losses sustained by the agricultural sector reached roughly $500MM, including $350MM in direct losses.

“The recent conflict has had a severe impact on Gaza’s economy in all sectors, in addition to the tragic humanitarian losses,” Jorgensen said. “Within this fragile sociopolitical context, economic recovery becomes a priority.”

Growing up in a town where agriculture was one of the primary sources of income for many of the residents I understand how devastating this loss is for not only the farmers but the Palestinians that relied on the food to survive. I worked on farm this summer can not even imagine how hard it must have been for those farmers to abandon all their hard work and livelihoods. It takes years to construct a successful farm, preparing the soil, planting seeds, some take several years before anything is even produced. So much time, preparation and hard work was lost.

Without the agricultural sector so many more Palestinians are going hungry, for many of the uneducated farmers that had to flee, work is difficult to find. What is being done to help the Palestinian people of Gaza who have lost everything? When will Hamas stop lobbing bombs into Israel so that this conflict can end?



4 thoughts on “Missing Poultry

  1. This is devastating. I know that the documentary we watched in class showed how the implementation of the barrier wall as well as increasing construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is affecting farmers and their land. Could this have something to do with the loss of their chickens? Food for thought.

  2. Reading this was definitely shocking and disappointing. I knew that the Palestinians in West bank and Gaza already had poverty and hunger issues but I didn’t really know the full extent and details. It is not so shocking to see how many people rely on agriculture because the agriculture work is what really helps create not only a economy but self sustainability that could help individual civilians and families. I know how important agriculture, and food in general, and it seems as if others aren’t taking in the impact these industries bring, and they are neglecting many innocent people. These issues just seems to be getting worst and its sad how it continues without much effort to try to reduce the problem.

  3. I hadn’t heard anything about this! I knew that many people in that region relied on agriculture, but I’d never considered how the bombings and attacks were affecting not just the people themselves, but the animals around the area. It takes a long time to raise up herds of cattle and sheep, and to see so much of that hard work destroyed in the blink of an eye (or possibly wondering around aimlessly, starving) is shocking. This is the kind of story I would like to hear on the news. Things that actually pertain to Palestinians lives and how these attacks are affecting them personally.

  4. This was a good focus because its important to draw attention to these things! Recessions in wealthy countries are brutal I cant image how tough it must be on the Gaza Stripe. Really glad I read this article and thought you did a terrific job, but It would have been nice if you would have gone a bit more in depth with certain portions. But overall I liked it a lot!

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