Development for Freedom
Empowered Lives, Resilient Nation
Consolidated Plan of Assistance: 2012-2014
Almost three years after the end of the Cast Lead military operation, much of the destruction wrought upon the Gaza Strip is still not been repaired. Despite the June 2010 decision to lift some obstacles to the import of materials and goods into the Gaza Strip, the continuation of the blockade is also preventing a huge backlog of critical reconstruction and development interventions related to access to basic services from being implemented. As a consequence, responses to critical humanitarian needs are delayed.
In such harsh circumstances, Gazans are confronted in their daily lives with life-threatening challenges and continue to be denied the full exercise of basic human rights related to access to safe and potable water, sanitation, housing, health, education, a healthy environment, movement and work. While humanitarian assistance is being provided to keep the Gaza community above subsistence levels, this by no means constitutes an appropriate remedy to the plight of an imprisoned population that is thriving to live a dignified life in the harsh environment created by the Israeli-imposed blockade.
The long-standing policy of closures has had far-reaching consequences on basic services delivery, as spare parts could not be imported for maintenance works and no construction projects could be undertaken, and on the economy, that came to a virtual halt, thus depriving thousands of Palestinians from employment and livelihoods opportunities.
The challenge in the Gaza Strip today is not, unfortunately, about reconstruction and development only. It is also about responding to life-threatening challenges in a durable manner and enabling Gazans to exercise basic human rights that they are currently being deprived of, namely right to free movement and right to work.
The Gaza Strip has been receiving humanitarian aid for decades and will continue to need it as long as Gazans are not allowed to work, trade and move freely. The absence of such prospects increases the need for international interventions to provide as much opportunity for human development as possible in the Gaza Strip. These interventions will have the potential to achieve much more than just relief such as building sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment, strengthening civil society organizations and improving the environment.
As a result, UNDP plans to expand the scope of its development activities to increase self-reliance and resilience within the population of the Gaza Strip. UNDP proposes to address the areas of democratic governance, poverty reduction, environment and public and social infrastructure.