UNRWA announced, Thursday, that it had begun distributing its 2015 emergency food assistance to needy refugee families in the Gaza Strip.According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, UNRWA revealed, in a recent press release, that the move comes as part of a wider framework to mantain its support of Palestinian refugee families in Gaza who are unable to meet their basic food security needs.

According to UNRWA the food assistance will include about 868 thousand refugees in Gaza, while keeping into consideration the size of the family and their poverty level.

This emergency food assistance comes in a time where Palestinian refugee families in Gaza continue to face worsening economic conditions as a result of the siege and restrictions imposed on the entry of goods and movement of people, in addition to the latest Israeli aggression that targeted the entire Gaza Strip.

UNRWA categorizes families whose income is no more than $1 a day as living ‘under extreme poverty’, while families whose income is no more than $3 as living ‘under the poverty line’.

UNRWA is responsible for providing food assistance, shelter and protection to more than 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in general. They are distributed in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

According to Robert Turner, UNRWA’s Director of Operations in the Gaza Strip, 70% of Gaza’s population has refugee status, with more than 1.2 million under UNRWA’s care. He predicted that the number of those refugees will increase to 1.5 million by the year 2020.

Palestinians now make up the largest refugee population in the entire world, according to UN statistics.