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        General Assembly

6 November 2002

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
Item 21 (a) of the preliminary list*
Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian
and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations,
including special economic assistance: strengthening
of the coordination of emergency humanitarian
assistance of the United Nations
Economic and Social Council
Substantive session of 2001
Geneva, 2-27 July 2001
Item 5 of the provisional agenda**
Special economic, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance

Strengthening the coordination of emergency
humanitarian assistance of the United Nations

Report of the Secretary-General

* A/56/50.

** E/2001/100.

I. Introduction

1. The present report has been prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/182 of 19 December 1991, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly on the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance, and to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/56 of 28 July 1995, in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report on humanitarian assistance, and to subsequent resolutions.


III. Context and challenges of humanitarian assistance, 2000-2001


B. Complex emergencies


24. The Middle East is also witnessing a humanitarian emergency. Since late September 2000, strife in the occupied Palestinian Territory has led to deaths and injuries and a severe decline in the economy, devastating the living standards of the vast majority of the population.


V. Challenges to providing humanitarian assistance

A. Access

97. In numerous countries around the world, humanitarian actors are present but unable to reach large portions of affected populations needing their assistance. Access is one of the key challenges facing humanitarian operations, particularly in complex emergencies. Frequently access is limited by the prevailing security situation but sometimes the obstacle is also a question of policy on the part of the authorities controlling a given region or country. For example, from time to time, the Government of Israel has imposed external and internal closures on the occupied Palestinian territory, obstructing free movement of humanitarian goods and personnel. ...



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