24 September – 1 October | issue 63
the next update will be issued on Wednesday 08 October 2014
Operational environment: The situation in Gaza remains tense. Palestinian families in the Strip continue to feel uncertain about the future, expressing concern about the unstable political and security environment and ongoing deterioration in the socioeconomic situation.
ENGINEERS PLAY KEY ROLE IN ASSESSING PALESTINIAN HOMES IN GAZA
UNRWA is currently undertaking assessments of refugees’ homes that were damaged during recent hostilities. Construction personnel and engineers hired under the Agency’s Job Creation Program (JCP) have brought their expertise to the job, and are using new technology to conduct assessments as efficiently as possible.
The shelter assessments are part of a wider initiative lead by the National Consensus Government’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing, in partnership with UNRWA and UNDP, to ensure all damaged homes in the Gaza Strip are assessed, and people are provided with assistance to get back on their feet.
“We have deployed a Focal Area Engineer in each of Gaza’s five Areas who supervises a head group engineer. The head group engineer then manages 15-20 engineers. A total of approximately 1,400 cases are being assessed across the Gaza Strip each day,” said Abdul.
The UNRWA assessment teams are using computer tablets with a geographic information system (GIS), to store information in a shared database. It is hoped that this will ease the planning and development process and avoid duplication.
The engineers’ damage assessments follow visits to homes by UNRWA social workers. As of 30 September, UNRWA social workers have completed their initial assessment of 66,500 refugee family homes in the Gaza Strip, which is equivalent to approximately 80 per cent of the total estimated number of impacted Palestine refugees’ homes. According to estimates based on preliminary information from the UNRWA shelter assessment, up to 80,000 refugee homes were impacted during the fifty days of hostilities.
Wael Hamdan, Focal Area Engineer in the North said: “We race against time to be able to accomplish the task as winter is approaching and it would be more difficult for both engineers and the affected families. We started to use the computer tablet in our work which helps us with expediting the data entry process while maintaining accurate and precise data.”
Assistance includes rental subsidy and a reintegration package for those whose homes are assessed as uninhabitable and cash support for those with habitable shelters requiring minor repair.
Payments for rental support (transitional shelter cash assistance – TSCA) and the reintegration package started on 28 September 2014.
Between 24 and 30 September, UNRWA continued to deliver truckloads of non food items and food to Collective Centres. This food support is provided in cooperation with WFP.
Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP) staff from four locations conducted visits to schools and shelters in diverse areas to follow up with teachers on classroom based psychosocial interventions. Visits to Collective Centres to follow and intervene with serious cases was also part of this week’s CMHP work. A total number of 109 counseling sessions were carried out at southern region schools. The number of group counseling sessions was 19, involving 112 beneficiaries. A total of 180 group guidance sessions were implemented, serving around 7,000 beneficiaries. Throughout the reporting period, the counselors at the southern area conducted 80 meetings with teachers, 70 meetings with parents and caregivers and a total of 1,050 beneficiaries were involved. A series of recreational activities including psychological interventions sessions for 679 students and 31,000 beneficiaries were also implemented between 24-30 September.
UNRWA, in cooperation with partners and donors, continued daily water distributions to the Collective Centres. During the week of 24-30 September 1,702 cubic metres of potable water were trucked, which is equivalent to about 4 litres of drinking water per person per day. 2,175 cubic metres of non-potable water were also trucked by UNRWA, municipalities and contractors to the Collective Centres.
Since the start of the ceasefire the Water and Hygiene Campaign has had to re-establish new committees, as numerous displaced persons left the Collective Centres including IDPs previously involved in the Campaign. As of yesterday, 21 IDP hygiene committees were active with a total of 197 members. An average of 100 awareness raising sessions were held each day and over 10,000 IDPs were trained on issues such as cleanliness, usage of cleaning materials, best practices in water management, how to keep food from being contaminated and how to treat lice and scabies and avoid other hygiene related diseases. The hygiene team also organized recreational and support activities for 964 children. The number of persons transferred to the Medical Focal Points decreased significantly during the past week.
No major incidents during the reporting period.
118 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 8 July 2014.
More information on the revised appeal can be found by here.