Forward by THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR
Over the past 10 years, the emergency pooled fund for the oPt, the oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt I-IF), has established itself as a strategic and flexible tool to allocate funds for unforeseen emergencies and special requirements. It has been used numerous times to respond to emergencies and natural disasters, including the three rounds of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, the wave of violence that erupted in late 2015, and winter storms and floods that affected the populations of both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The alignment of the oPt HF with the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) started in 2015 and continued throughout 2016. It has enabled more strategic channelling of funds to needs-based priority sectors and geographical areas; over 87 per cent of the funds allocated in 2016 were used to address urgent needs in the HRP in a timely manner.
In May and November 2016, two allocations totalling US$7.1 million were assigned to underfunded priorities of the humanitarian response plan. An additional four projects responded to unforeseen emergencies with funding from the reserve allocation. A total of 536,000 beneficiaries were reached through these projects.
This year, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Spain and Ireland contributed over $10 million, the highest contribution in a single year since
the fund's inception in 2007. With the help of donors, I aim to increase the use and impact of the fund, and increase the percentage of funding channelled through the oPt HF to reach a target of the equivalent of 15 per cent of the overall financial appeal by 2018 as agreed in the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
The fund is one of the most flexible and timely funding tools available to save lives and has been used strategically to allocate vital funding during the 2016/17 winter. It contributed to meeting major shortfalls in Shelter and WASH needs for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gaza, needs that still exist from the 2014 hostilities.
Collective identification of existing needs has enabled funding to be targeted at key responders, particularly national NGOs who are often the first and best positioned to respond. In some cases, the fund was the only source of funding for national NGOs.
The humanitarian response in the oPt will continue to target the most vulnerable Palestinians by providing protection measures, improving access to services, particularly for women, children and the elderly, and by bolstering the capacity of exposed households to cope with the prolonged Israeli occupation and recurrent natural shocks.
United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian
Aid and Development Activities in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory