Question of Palestine home
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
World Health Organization (WHO)
2 February 2009
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
GAZA FLASH APPEAL
Mobilization of resources
• Duration of the appeal: 9 months
• Flash appeal overall funding needs: $613 million
• Relevant funding to date: $80 million
• Funds still needed: $533 million
• Includes 50 NGOs, 98 NGO projects, 73 UN projects, 15 UN Agencies
• Incorporates funding for the “Initial Response Plan and Immediate Funding Needs” appeal of January 15.
THE COORDINATION OF THE HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO THE GAZA EMERGENCY 2008-2009
The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) led by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), with the support of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has the overall responsibility for response coordination in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
In response to the humanitarian emergency in the Gaza Strip, the HCT has developed the following coordination mechanism to ensure a swift and appropriate response. The mechanism is an expansion of the pre-crisis cluster/sector approach based on the principles of Humanitarian Reform. It is flexible and regularly refined to respond to emerging needs and changes on the ground.
Agencies are providing additional human resources and surge capacity has been deployed in several sectors. Communication between HQ and operational teams in the oPt varies in its thoroughness.
Since January 18, coordination meetings have resumed in Gaza. In particular the Sector Leads meetings have been re-established as well as the Gazan Operational Coordination Group (OCG), which mirrors the Jerusalem-based Humanitarian Country Team.
Video links between coordinating groups in Gaza and Jerusalem/Ramallah, are being used increasingly to ensure cohesive response planning. Ultimately the majority of meetings will be shifted to Gaza and be phased out in Jerusalem/Ramallah but that is unlikely to take effect, at least in the near future, as access into Gaza remains unpredictable and restricted.
Humanitarian Country Team (HCT),
Chaired by the HC with the support of OCHA: Participants: Heads of humanitarian UN agencies, individual major NGOs, Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) with the ICRC and MSF as observers.
The HCT’s main priorities are:
the evaluation of the
overall situation; identification of operational priorities; development of response strategies; making policy decisions and agreeing advocacy messages. This forum also provides overall guidance to the cluster/sectoral working groups. The HCT meets twice a week and is well-attended.
Chaired by OCHA. Attended by cluster/sector leads chair and representatives of key senior programme officers of agencies active in the Gaza response. This meeting deals with operational issues and ensures integrated responses to identified needs. Main issues covered so far include: strengthening coordination mechanisms; identification and resolution of gaps and overlaps between sectors/clusters; agreement on information management; expected and feasible support from OCHA; development of planning common assessments; funding strategies etc.
The following clusters, sectors, sub-sectors and working groups are active:
• Education: Chaired by UNICEF/SCF Alliance.
• Health: chaired by WHO
• Logistics: chaired by WFP with the support of UNRWA
• Protection: chaired by OHCHR with support of OCHA
• WATSAN: Chaired UNICEF/OXFAM
• Food Security and Nutrition: chaired by WFP with the support of UNRWA
• Agriculture: Chaired by FAO
• Psychosocial support and mental health: chaired by UNICEF and WHO
Sub-Sectors or working groups
• Advocacy: chaired by OCHA
• Child protection: sub-cluster of protection: chaired by UNICEF
• Disabilities: health cluster working group: chaired by Handicap international
• Early Recovery: working group: Chaired by UNDP
• Mine Action: Early Recover sub-working group; chaired by UNMAS
• Shelter/NFI Working Group: chaired by OCHA/ UNRWA.
Cluster, sector and working groups will meet regularly to assess the overall needs, define priorities and responses, identify gaps, agree on standards, provide information updates and mobilize resources through common funding appeals.
Minutes, fact sheets and situation reports highlighting the main issues and action points are shared with HCT members and other clusters.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is mandated to provide basic services such as food aid, health and education services, and livelihood and shelter support for Palestinians with refugee status
. Other humanitarian actors work mainly with non-refugee Palestinians. UNRWA is an active participant in the overall coordination to ensure equity of response to refugees and non-refugees. In Gaza, approximately 70% of the population is registered refugees.
Under UNRWA’s operational definition, Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.. UNRWA’s definition of a refugee also covers the descendants through the male line of persons who became refugees in 1948.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HUMANITARIAN AND EARLY RECOVERY APPEALS
Initial Response Plan.
Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip began on 27 December, only weeks after the publication of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), based on an in-depth analysis of needs in the oPt during 2009. The CAP 2009 contained 159 project proposals to a value of USD $ 462,309,538 including needs specific to the Gaza Strip. Given the sudden nature of the violence and the unpredictability of its duration and likely impact, it was decided to carry out a rapid review of the CAP 2009 to highlight relevant original projects and to add a small number of new projects as an appropriate ‘Initial Response Plan’. This Plan, with an emphasis on health and food security needs, was finalized on 15 January 2009, highlighting projects to the value of USD $117m that would provide immediate and urgent assistance.
The ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’,
The Flash Appeal to be launched in Geneva on 2 February, is based on assessments undertaken by humanitarian organizations in the last fortnight. On 22 January, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, at the request of the Secretary-General, initiated a supportive rapid field assessment. The ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ contains projects to meet immediate humanitarian needs for nine months. The goal is to provide critical support to re-establish basic services of a reasonable standard and to prevent irreparable loss of livelihoods. The proposed projects will provide
1) direct relief,
2) enable livelihood recovery, and
3) infrastructure repairs to deliver humanitarian aid or directly relieve humanitarian needs.
A core goal is to try and restore, as quickly as possible, a form of normal life in Gaza. Given that children compose 56% of the population a key aim is to ensure that all basic services are functional before the beginning of the next academic year in September 2009. All project proposals in the ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ will be integrated into the oPt CAP 2009 which will be reviewed later in the year.
Gaza Early Recovery Plan.
Following the ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ an assessment of needs for a 24-month period will be completed by the Palestinian Authority with support from UN agencies and their partners. The Gaza Early Recovery Needs Assessment will provide the basis for an Early Recovery Plan. The Gaza Early Recovery Plan will be built on the initial humanitarian response to ensure the reliable continuity of services, and provide a basis for further reconstruction. The Gaza Early Recovery Plan will include a greater number of sectors than the ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ and will focus on restoring sustainable systems for governance and the delivery of basic services, providing short to medium term livelihood opportunities, and rehabilitating core infrastructure. Implementation of the early recovery response will also be dependant on the opening of crossings into Gaza, allowing imports and exports, adequate movement of people, and a regular flow of cash. The Gaza Early Recovery Plan is designed to restore the initial conditions for Palestinians in Gaza to re-embark on a sustainable social and economic development track, as presented in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP).
Both the Gaza Flash Appeal and the Early Recovery plan include clusters/sectors such as water and sanitation, health, shelter and education. Within those sectors, the humanitarian response focuses on providing immediate relief and undertaking emergency repairs while the early recovery response will aim to rehabilitate the infrastructure to a level that provides services into and for the longer term. Projects aimed at restoring livelihoods such as agriculture and food security are also covered in both. Under the humanitarian response, interventions in such projects will aim to provide quick relief, avoid worsening standards of living and prevent total and permanent loss of productive assets. The early recovery response will build on this to make sure that affected communities have access to income generation, and support small scale private sector revitalization
Essential conditions for successful implementation of both the emergency assistance and early recover are:
1. An ensured sustained provision of basic commodities including wheat grain in bulk, food aid, fuel (including for the power plant) and cooking gas, medical supplies.
2. Uninterrupted and predictable movement of humanitarian staff (including United Nations, Red Cross and Crescent and NGOs) into and out of the Gaza Strip.
3. An expanded list of goods to be imported including equipment, spare parts and construction materials as well as also, commercial goods and cash to allow for the private sector to function and reduce Gazan dependency on aid.
4. Shielding the emergency relief operation from political interests and attempts to control the implementation and delivery of assistance.
Gaza Strip Flash Appeal Summary Sheet
Between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, citing continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and the end of a six-month Egyptian-brokered calm between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian groups, Israeli forces launched a massive combined military operation in the Gaza Strip which it named” Cast Lead”.
Extent of the casualties and
Twenty-two days of bombardment by land, sea and air, as well as ground incursions into Gaza by Israeli troops have resulted in:
• Until 28 January 2009, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 1,336 Palestinians dead, including an estimated 430 children and 110 women; 5,450 Palestinians injured, including 1,870 children and 800 women. .
• With every other person in Gaza a child – 56% of the population is under 18 – children were dangerously exposed to the fighting around them.
• Extensive damage to homes and public infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip, with Gaza City the worst hit. An estimated 21,000 residences have been completely destroyed or badly damaged. Nearly 51,000 people displaced in shelters.
• Damage and destruction to United Nations’ facilities, including schools that served as shelters and an aid warehouse, despite their locations having been transmitted to the Israeli authorities in advance.
• Extensive destruction to commercial enterprises and to public infrastructure: According to Palestinian industrialists, 219 factories were destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli military operation. Much of the 3% of industrial capacity that was still operating after the 18-month Israeli blockade has now been destroyed.
• According to Israeli sources Israelis were killed by Palestinian launched rockets. Ten Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting during the operation. The number of wounded Israelis during the operation stood at 518 persons, the majority of whom were soldiers (336).
Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on 17 January, which was put into effect on 18 January, followed by Hamas and other Palestinian factions later the same day. This ended the fighting, although several attacks have occurred resulting in at least one Israeli and five Palestinian killed and several rockets have been launched. On 21 January, the IDF withdrew from Gaza, and is now deployed along its border. Basic relief assistance is entering Gaza but is constrained by Israeli restrictions on the amount and type of aid.
The Blockade June 2007
The Israeli military operation severely compounded what the United Nations had described as an 18 month long “human dignity crisis” in the Gaza Strip. This had been caused by the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, imposed following the June 2007 Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority institutions in Gaza. The blockade resulted in a large-scale systematic deterioration of livelihoods and a significant debilitation of infrastructure and basic services. These restrictions were further tightened following the Government of Israel’s designation of Gaza as a ‘hostile entity’ in October 2007. Days before the ‘Cast Lead’ operation, the blockade had all but depleted many stocks of humanitarian supplies and UN humanitarian assistance programmes faced severe difficulties in delivering relief.
The Israeli military operation and the ensuing violence has left most of the population of 1.4 million people unable to exercise many of their most basic rights or have access to services amidst collapsing infrastructure and severe shortages of power, water, shelter, food and medical services. An estimated 80% of the population was already aid-dependent prior to 27 December 2008, and this figure is expected to have increased.
A joint rapid needs assessment by the UN and NGOs between 22 and 25 January found that in 48 of 61 localities where results have been gathered, about 22.6% of housing units were damaged or destroyed. Of those damaged, 16.7% reported light to moderate damage, 3.2% reported severe damage, and 2.6% reported that the homes had been destroyed. The assessment of the 48 localities found that more than 66,000 people had not yet returned to their homes and were staying with relatives or other hosts. Host families are reported to be overstretched and facing shortages of food, non-food items (mattresses, blankets) and water and electricity. Repairs to damaged houses are urgently needed to allow people to return to their own homes.
Rehabilitation is needed for damaged health
facilities from primary to tertiary care. Issues regarding disabilities are likely to become an additional public health concern. Estimates are that as many as half of the 5,380 men, women and children injured over the past three weeks of conflict may suffer life-long impairment. According to MSF, 40% of interventions at Shifa hospital during the war required amputation; injuries often included multiple traumas with head injuries, thorax and abdominal wounds. Repair of medical equipment remains a priority, as does the import of spare parts for medical equipment.
Rehabilitating the injured:
At least US$31.5 million
will be needed during the first year to rehabilitate the injured and provide income support to families who have lost breadwinners, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
There is a reported 20% increase in food insecurity from 56% to more than 75% of the entire population of the Gaza Strip. The households most at risk of being food insecure are those with high unemployment rates, with many young family members, and which are more than 50% female.
: Seven schools in northern Gaza were completely destroyed and approximately 157 primary schools were partially damaged.
Water & sanitation
: Many of the water and sanitation systems were damaged, raising the urgency to import spare parts and machinery to carry out repairs.
Humanitarian Response Strategy
: On 22 January, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, at the request of the Secretary General, initiated a rapid field assessment. The ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ has been compiled by humanitarian agencies based on needs assessments undertaken in the last two weeks. Access to Gaza has remained difficult despite the recent truce and information was gathered by local staff in Gaza in close liaison with partners based in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ contains projects to meet immediate humanitarian needs for nine months. The goal is to provide critical support to re-establish basic services of a reasonable standard and to prevent irreparable loss of livelihoods.
In this regard, the UN and partners will initially focus on restoring basic social services, such as water, health and education, providing emergency psychosocial support, cash injections, restoring a minimum capacity to produce fresh/nutritious foods and supporting emergency repairs of critical infrastructure. Even as assessments are on-going, work has been initiated to conduct essential repairs to shelters, water and sanitation, health facilities, etc.
The immediate import of construction materials, agricultural inputs, and spare parts are vital in this regard
The appeal will also include projects addressing safety of movement (marking and clearing unexploded ordnance), removing rubble, repairing priority infrastructure to the extent possible, and securing access to services. Finally, it will include a component to support the building of a protective environment in which the full respect for the individual, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
Following the ‘Gaza Flash Appeal’ an assessment of early recovery needs for a 24 month period will be completed by the Palestinian Authority with support from UN agencies and partners. This plan will be built on the initial humanitarian response that will ensure the reliable continuity of services and provide a basis for future development.
Essential conditions for successful implementation of the emergency assistance phase:
1. Ensured sustained provision of basic commodities including wheat grain in bulk, food aid, fuel (including for the power plant) and cooking gas, medical supplies.
2. Uninterrupted and predictable movement of humanitarian staff (including United Nations, Red Cross and Crescent and NGO’s) into and out of the Gaza Strip.
3. Shielding the emergency relief operation from political interests and attempts to control the implementation and delivery of assistance.
4. An expanded list of goods to be imported including equipment, spare parts and construction materials and also, commercial goods and cash to allow for the private sector to function and reduce Gazan dependency on aid.
According to the Palestine Trade Center (Paltrade), Gaza requires an estimated minimum of 850 truckloads of market-triggered imports per day to start any sort of economical revival, far above actual amounts.
Humanitarian Access into Gaza:
Since the cease-fire on 18 January, an average of 75.5 truckloads per day have crossed through Kerem Shalom representing a 7% increase from the period during the military operation. Only on two days did the number of truckloads exceed 120. As of 28 January, approximately 30 international staff working with NGOs were in Gaza,
along with approximately 22 international staff working with the UN. Currently, there are outstanding requests to enter Gaza for over 200 people and this number is growing by the day. Since the ceasefire, many staff of international NGOs have been denied entry into Gaza. Between 5 November 2008 and 18 January, no staff of INGOs were allowed to enter Gaza, except for a number of medical emergency staff.
The Humanitarian Monitor, available at:
This Flash Appeal is for USD $613 million. It builds upon, and supersedes, the Initial Response Plan and Immediate Funding Needs document of 15 January, which requested $117 million in urgent humanitarian funding. It includes those portions of the Initial Response Plan which are still relevant, and can be carried forward, as well as new and revised projects, all of which will be counted in the 2009 Consolidated Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory. As with the Initial Response Plan, agencies have been encouraged to adapt and revise their existing project proposals in the 2009 CAP as much as possible.
The Flash Appeal is $613 million, comprising the revised Gaza component of the oPt 2009 CAP, of which approximately $209 million is made up of new projects, $270 million highlighted existing CAP projects, and $134 million budget increases of those existing highlighted projects, bringing the total OPT CAP 2009 to approximately $876 million.
Initial Response Plan issued on 15 January 2009
Faced with the deteriorating humanitarian situation, humanitarian agencies issued an Initial Response Plan and Immediate Funding Needs document for Gaza on 15 January. The Initial Response Plan, a mixture of new, revised, and existing projects from the 2009 CAP, requested $117 million for urgent humanitarian needs. As of most recent figures it was 59% funded.
Complete document in PDF format