Question of Palestine home
Association of International Development Agencies
8 June 2011
The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is made up of two geographic areas: the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In both areas, Israel maintains a complex system of restrictions on movement and access. In the West Bank, checkpoints, roadblocks, a permit system and the ‘Wall’ and its ‘seam zone’1 inhibit the movement of Palestinians. In the Gaza Strip, a permit system is augmented by control over a ‘buffer zone’ or perimeter area between Gaza and Israel and a sea blockade.
Movement and access restrictions increase poverty and fragment the Palestinian territory.2 Humanitarian agencies should help mitigate the impacts on Palestinian communities, but these restrictions also affect the movement and access of international organizations operating in the oPt. The restrictions mean that aid workers and related goods cannot move freely between the communities they serve, impeding humanitarian and development work in the territory. The restrictions decrease the effectiveness and sustainability of aid operations, deny the most vulnerable populations from needed assistance and significantly increase the costs of delivering assistance.
The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), representing 84 international humanitarian and development agencies working in the oPt, conducted a survey of its members to assess and quantify the impact these restrictions have on the effectiveness of aid delivery to communities in the oPt. The overall objectives of the study were to gain a better understanding of both the scale and types of restrictions that AIDA members face with regards to access and movement, and to make initial findings on the impact of these restrictions on costs and on the ability of AIDA members to deliver aid and development programs in the territory.
2. Summary of Findings
Access and movement restrictions for international non-government organizations (INGOs) are significant, widespread, costly and difficult to overcome. As a result of these restrictions, vulnerable communities are not being reached, the quality of programming is compromised and the long-term impact of humanitarian and development interventions are reduced.
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