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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
LIMITED
E/ICEF/1995/P/L.30
9 March 1995

ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH/FRENCH

United Nations Children's Fund
Executive Board
Second Regular Session 1995
30-34 March 1995
FOR ACTION


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUNDING FOR SHORT-DURATION COUNTRY PROGRAMMES
AND FOR ADDITIONAL GENERAL RESOURCES TO FUND APPROVED COUNTRY
PROGRAMMES IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGION*


SUMMARY


The present document contains recommendations for funding from general resources and supplementary funds for country programmes in the Middle East and North Africa region with a duration of three years or less that support activities in countries where full-length country programme are under preparation. It also contains recommendations for additional general resources to fund the approved country programmes in the same region for which the balances of approved general resources are not sufficient to fund the programmes up to the approved programme periods. The Executive Director recommends that the Executive Board approve:

(a) The following amounts from general resources, subject to the availability of funds, and the following amounts in supplementary funds, subject to the availability of specific-purpose contributions, for the country programmes listed below:


(b) Additional general resources in the following amounts, totalling $1,096,933, to achieve the objectives of the country programmes as originally approved by the Board:



Summaries of individual recommendations follow.



___________

* In order to meet documentation deadlines, the present document was prepared before aggregate financial data were finalized. Final adjustments, taking into account unspent balances of programme cooperation at the end of 1994, will be contained in the "Sumary of 1995 recommendations for general resources and supplementary funding programes' (E/ICEF/1995/P/L.10 and Add.1).


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IV. PALESTINIANS




76. Programmes of cooperation for Palestinian children and woman in Lebanon (for 1995), the Syrian Arab Republic (for 1995) and the want Bank and Gaza (for 1994-1995) were approved by the Executive Board in 1994 (E/ICEF/1994/P/L.23). The evolving peace process in the region and its implications for services and opportunities for women and children provide the basis for submitting a two-year "bridging" proposal. This allows for more effective programme adjustments given rapidly emerging opportunities. A short-duration programme also can focus more effectively on capacity-building during this initial period of Palestinian
organization in the West Bank and Gaza. Services for Palestinian children and women in Jordan were approved by the Executive Board in 1993 for the period 1994-1997 (E/ICEF/1993/P/L.20), and no additional funding is being requested at this time.

The situation of children and women

77. For most of this century, the Palestinian people have struggled for self-determination. The Declaration of Principles, signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in September 1993, provides new vision and hope, for the first time, of Palestinians themselves building the institutions of nationhood. This process also includes capacity-building among governmental and non-governmental Palestinian institutions, which addresses such basic human services as health, education and social services. This process has raised the hope and expectations of the population that would be challenging to meet under normal circumstances of development. However, this process is even more challenging for a new administration which is also in a capacity-building phase. At the same time, there is a pressing need to demonstrate the benefits of peace. Nowhere is this more evident than in services for Palestinian children and women.

78. The Palestinian population is estimated at 3.8 million, of whom about one half live in the West Bank and Gaza. In Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, more than 60 per cent of Palestinians live in refugee camps, with the majority of the remainder residing in underserved squatter areas. Greater Gaza City is the largest urban area; in contrast, the West Bank has a large rural population.

79. Palestinians are severely affected by poor economic conditions. Opportunities for gainful employment are very limited. In the host countries of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, Palestinians experience high competition for jobs as there is high unemployment and underemployment. In the aftermath of the Gulf war, more than 25,000 Palestinian workers in the Gulf, who were sending remittances to their families, lost their jobs and returned to the West Bank and Gaza. As a result of sporadic violence in the occupied territories, the number
of Palestinian migrant workers to Israel fell from 70,000 to 23,000 in 1994.

80. The fertility rate of the Palestinian population in Gaza is almost 8 per cent. MMR varies from virtually nil for pregnant women, who are registered refugees and benefit from MCH services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon, to 93 per 100,000 live births in the Syrian Arab Republic. Major causes of maternal deaths are haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and womb lacerations. Poor family planning and birth spacing practices are underlying factors.

81. IMR and U5MR ranged from 42 to 55 per 1,000 live births and from 55 to 69 per 1,000 live births in 1991, respectively. Rates are higher in squatter communities. The major causes of infant mortality are
low-birth-weight/prematurity, congenital malformations, gastroenteritis and ARI. Diarrhoeal diseases and ARI are the major causes of under-five mortality. Iron deficiency anaemia is a prevalent problem among Palestinian children and women. In the Syrian Arab Republic, UNRWA reported that 75 per cent of children under three years of age were anaemic. The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics reported that 63 per cent of pregnant woman are anaemic in their last trimester of pregnancy. Palestinians registered as refugees are provided with basic health services through a network of MCH and public health contres run by UNRWA. Hospital services and dispensaries are run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) mainly inside the camps. Several Palestinian and International NGOs and private physicians provide medical care. While immunization coverage has been at over 85 per cent for all antigens and ORT is commonly used, services provided by NGOs and private physicians do not usually focus on prevention.

82. Primary school enrolment is above 90 per cent with no significant gender bias. However, 50 per cent of children drop out before grade nine in the West Bank and Gaza. While the UNRWA school system provides good quality education or registered refugee children, other schools tend to be overcrowded, poorly equipped and have under-trained teachers. Extended school closures since the onset of the intifadah in 1987 have contributed to a situation in which less than 50 per cent of children under 12 years of age have acquired basic reading, writing and cognitive skills. Remedial education is necessary to help these youth.

83. During the intifadah, there were many casualties, particularly children who require physiotherapy and psycho-social rehabilitation. In addition, the suspension of sports and cultural clubs and community-based activities reduced opportunities for non-formal education and other personal growth experiences for youth.

84. Similarly, the squalid conditions of camps and squatter areas preclude normal play opportunities for pre-schoolers. Efforts by NGOs to provide early child care have had modest success, and increased efforts are required to meet the needs of pre-school children.

85. The responsibilities of Palestinian women differ from those of women in many other Arab societies. On one hand, there is the unique nature of life in refugee camps and squatter areas and, on the other hand, female-headed households exist in the absence of adult males because of educational employment or other conditions associated with the conflict. Palestinian woman are eager for education and ready to work for their families. They are an important asset to the development process. However, the illiteracy rate for women is estimated at 19 per cent. Their share in the paid labour force is around 15 per cent.

Review of previous cooperation

86. Among the lessons learned from recent cooperation in Lebanon is that programmes for Palestinian children and women should place more emphasis on building the capacity of Palestinian NGOs; empowering communities, families and women with basic skills and knowledge for better living; promoting social mobilization; and developing more effective monitoring and reporting system. UNICEF assistance should strengthen services provided by UNRWA for registered Palestinians and services for Palestinian children and women who live outside the camps, and who are not reached by either UNRWA or government services.

87. In the Syrian Arab Republic, there is a need to strengthen services for Palestinian children and women so that the Palestinian community benefits from the efforts of the Syrian Arab Republic to achieve the mid-decade and end-decade goals for children. UNICEF should cooperate with UNRWA, the Syrian General Organization for Palestinian Arab Refugees (GOPAR), Palestinian NGOs and community self-help organizations to strengthen those programme efforts related to the decade goals and to benefit from the efforts of the Syrian Arab Republic
in this regard.

88. In 1993 and 1994, UNICEF assistance in the West Bank and Gaza was to help ensure, increase and improve basic services for children and women, especially in the areas of health and education. UNICEF cooperated with UNRWA, mostly in Gaza and refugee camps, as well as with many Palestinian and international NGOs and community groups. UNICEF also assisted with strengthening implementation capacity and coordination among those service organizations. Special social services which UNICEF assisted included physiotherapy and psycho-social rehabilitation, including drama, sports and recreation activities. Palestinians' perceived need for self-help has led to a strong sense of social responsibility and creative problem-solving at the community level, and UNICEF cooperation has served youth and women's NGOs working in communities.

89. Although many services have been successful, there is a need for improved coordination, consolidation and a strong focus on sustainability. Given the priorities of the Palestinian authorities and local NGOs, UNICEF will give high priority to cooperation on capacity-building and sustainability. Similarly, coordination and complementarity between donors and service agencies need to be strengthened. This is necessary to expand the coverage and quality of basic services. There is scope for furthering United Nations inter-agency cooperation. Accordingly, a process of consultation and coordination has been initiated and facilitated by the United Nations Special coordinator and includes, inter alia, the World Bank, UNDP, UNRWA, WHO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNICEF, bilateral donors, international NGOs and relevant Palestinian authorities and institutions.

Recommended programme cooperation, 1996-1997

90. Although the living conditions of Palestinian children and women and the delivery systems for basic services differ from place to place, there are important commonalities, including, among others, culture and the Palestinian desire for progress. Most importantly, there is the commitment to further develop Palestinian capacities to plan and deliver basic services by Palestinian NGOs, philanthropic associations, community organizations and especially the newly established Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

91. The framework for UNICEF cooperation is imbedded in a situation in which a Palestinian national economic structure is emerging. Hence, the good will of the international community is essential for stimulating the social and economic development process. Acceleration of basic services coverage for Palestinians is essential so that the hopes and expectations that accompany the peace process bear more results.

92. In addition to coordination within the United Nations system and with other donors, UNICEF will strengthen cooperation with governmental and non-governmental institutions which, in addition to UNRWA are directly responsible for the provision of services. In the Syrian Arab Republic, GOPAR is the government agency responsible for overseeing the administrative and civil status needs of Palestinians. PRCS, the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) in Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, together with local and international NGOs, provide services and are also important UNICEF partners. For the West Bank and Gaza, the newly established Palestinian Authority, which is in the early stages of establishing planning and monitoring capacity, is responsible for health, education and social services. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, and the Ministries of Planning, Health, Education and Youth and Social Welfare are assuming responsibility for the delivery of social services. They are building their capacities for planning, organization, management and resource mobilization for basic services. In addition, UNICEF will cooperate with local and international NGOs and community organization to help them strengthen their roles in basic services.

A. Palestinian children and women in Lebanon

Recommended programme cooperation, 1996-1997




93. This recommendation continues and supports the objectives of ongoing programs cooperation for Palestinians in Lebanon, which is to contribute to achieving the decade goals. The programme responds to the priority needs of Palestinian children and women in Lebanon in cooperation with UNRWA, PRCS, GUPW and network of Palestinian philanthropic associations and international NGOs.

94. There are four programmes: health; early childhood development (ECD); women in development; and water supply and sanitation. advocacy, planning, monitoring and evaluation will form integral parts of each component. The generic strategy is to build on past experience and empower local associations and communities to meet the physical, emotional and socic-psychological, needs of their children. The programme strategy also will emphasize community mobilization and involvement as well as capacity-building through staff training and strengthening of data reporting systems.

Health

95. Health objectives include (a) the virtual elimination of neonatal tetanus, (b) the elimination of poliomyelitis; (c) the reduction of measles mortality by 95 per cent and morbidity by 90 per cent of pre-immunization levels; (d) sustaining vaccination coverage for all six antigens at more than 90 per cent for all infants and 90 per cent coverage of all women of child-bearing age with tetanus toxoid; (e) sustaining 95 per cent coverage of mothers with regular antenatal, natal and post-natal care; (f) increasing ORT use to 90 per cent; and (g) sustaining the universal availability of iodized salt.

96. UNICEF will continue to provide vaccines, syringes, needles and cold-chain equipment to UNRWA service units, PRCS and Medical Aid to Palestinians (MAP) clinics. Improvement of the disease surveillance system, maintaining effective cold-chain operations and strengthening social mobilization to sustain public awareness and support of EPI activities will be high priorities.

97. CDD activities will promote ORT techniques in all PHC facilities and with families. The prevention of diarrhoea will be linked to the promotion of breast-feeding, continuous feeding during diarrhoea episodes and appropriate personal hygiene and sanitation. Close linkages will be forged with water supply and sanitation activities. UNICEF will provide ORS sachets, support staff training and assist with the production of promotional and educational materials using Facts for Life messages.

98. The focus in nutrition will be capacity-building for nutrition education, emphasizing the promotion of proper infant and child feeding practices, the elimination of vitamin A deficiency, the reduction of anaemia and the eventual elimination of IDD. UNICEF will provide growth charts to all PHC facilities and support the training of health workers. Community meetings will help to educate and empower families to address the range of determinants contributing to malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

99. The safe motherhood initiative will train health workers and traditional birth attendants (TBAs) on the prevention of high-risk pregnancies as well as on clean and safe deliveries. UNICEF will support the upgrading of prenatal, natal and post-natal care in PRCS and MAP facilities. In coordination with UNRWA, PRCS and MAP, workshops will be held for mothers in camps and displacement centres to improve their knowledge and practices in guiding child growth, personal hygiene, maternal nutrition, breast-feeding, immunization and safe motherhood practices.

100. UNICEF support will focus on helping children and their families to prevent and cope with physical disability and psychological trauma among children. In collaboration with local and international NGOs, UNICEF will help to develop and promote approaches for the prevention and early detection of childhood disabilities, within the PHC structure, in kindergartens and in primary schools. These institutions also will provide counselling and help to build capacity in families and communities to care for traumatized children. UNICEF will support the training of teachers, health staff and parents in the care and counselling of children with disabilities and those experiencing trauma.

Early childhood development

101. The main objective of the ECD programs is to help children achieve normal cognitive, emotional and psycho-social development. UNICEF will support the dissemination of early learning and stimulation methodologies for pre-school education services and homes. Physical upgrading of kindergartens through the establishment of children's libraries and playgrounds also will be supported. The programme will continue its close linkage with the Lebanese Education for Peace Programme, which will promote the participation of Palestinian children and youth in its activities.

102. UNICEF will collaborate with UNRWA in the development of new teaching methodologies, new diagnostic testing and a remedial education service, and will involve teachers, students and parents in efforts to improve the quality of primary education. A pilot project at Burj el-Barajneh for lower elementary-level students with learning problems will be evaluated to serve as a reference for expansion of coverage.

Women in development

103. This programme will provide women with education and vocational skills that will empower them to participate more effectively in economic life. UNICEF will continue to support small-scale, cooperative income-generation and marketing activities for Palestinian families, with a focus on female-headed households. UNICEF will support family agricultural activities which have the potential to ensure family nutritional security. All activities will be implemented in collaboration with Palestinian NGOs and community committees which will sponsor participating families. A monitoring system for income-generation and marketing activities will be established to help strengthen the viability of income-generation objectives. Strategies to increase adult literacy among the Palestinian population, especially women, will be pursued by developing and disseminating more effective models for literacy activities. Priority health and nutrition education massages will be incorporated into literacy materials.

Water supply and sanitation

104. This programme seeks to improve the quality and quantity of drinking water and to promote sanitary practices in displacement contres. In addition, the programme aims to maintain existing water and sewer networks in camps, with the cooperation of local committees. The strategy is to organize community-managed water supply and sanitation schemes. Appropriate information materials using Facts for Life messages will be disseminated to raise public awareness of proper practices for sanitation and the safe disposal of human waste.

Monitoring and evaluation

105. Monitoring and evaluation will constitute integral parts of the programme. Support will be provided to establish more detailed and up-to-date baseline data, to monitor trends and to serve as the basis for the evaluation of the programme and for planning future cooperation.

Cooperation with other organizations

106. Close cooperation with UNRWA and WHO will continue. UNICEF also will cooperate and coordinate with Palestinian philanthropic associations, community organizations and international NGOs providing assistance to Palestinian children and women in Lebanon.


B. Palestinian children and women in the Syrian Arab Republic

Recommended programme cooperation, 1996-1997





Objectives and strategy

107. The 1996-1997 programme of cooperation for Palestinians in the Syrian Arab Republic is based on the country's NPA, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and lessons learned from past UNICEF cooperation.

108. The country programme will support the achievement of the following core NPA goals among the Palestinian community: (a) to reduce IMR, by at least one third from 33 to 22 per 1,000 live births; (b) to reduce U5MR by at least one third from 44 to 30 per 1,000 live births; (c) to reduce MMR by at least one third from 93 to 70 per 1,000 live births; (d) to eliminate severe malnutrition and reduce moderate malnutrition among children under five years old by one half; (f) to empower families with basic knowledge, skills and values needed for healthy living; and (9) to achieve and sustain the mid-decade goals for institutional health and nutrition. The strategy includes three programmes: (a) MCH; (b) ECD; and (c) women's development.

Maternal and child health

109. The MCH programme aims (a) to reduce ARI-related mortality by 50 per cent and ARI-related morbidity by 25 per cent among children under five years old; and (b) to reduce diarrhoeal disease-related mortality by 50 per cent and diarrhoeal disease-related morbidity by 25 per cent among children under five years old. In addition, the proportion of births attended by a trained attendant will be increased to virtually 100 per cent. Immunization will sustain polio eradication and the elimination of neonatal tetanus. All these and other efforts will improve the quality of MCH care.

110. In the area of capacity-building, UNICEF will continue to support the in-service training of UNRWA and NGO health staff, the introduction of standardized treatment and care protocols, and the improvement of reporting systems and baseline data. UNICEF also will continue to promote cooperation and experience exchange between UNRWA and the Ministry of Health. To empower communities with critical life skills and knowledge, the cooperation will intensify the use of a variety of social mobilization activities with the mass media, women leaders, schools, TBAs and local NGOs in raising.community awareness. UNICEF support for service delivery will strengthen the network of health services provided by UNRWA, GOPAR and Palestinian NGOs through the provision of essential materials and supplies. Additional support will improve health services in unofficial camps that are without access to UNRWA services.

Early childhood development

111. The ECD programme component will provide Palestinian mothers and others involved in child care with key knowledge and skills related to guiding the development of their young children. Another aim in to expand space in camps where children can play in a safe and healthy atmosphere. UNICEF also will help to upgrade the pedagogic and communication skills of all kindergarten teachers and expand access to kindergartens.

112. UNICEF will support these activities through discussion groups and training for women's groups and NGOs; the development of learning materials and readers on ECD for incorporation into women's literacy and vocational training programmes; periodic mass media campaigns; and incorporation of ECD education into training programmes for nurses, midwives and other health personnel who work with mothers.

113. To upgrade the quality of kindergartens in Palestinian camps, UNICEF, GOPAR and local Palestinian NGOs will support in-service and pre-service training for kindergarten teachers and provide basic equipment and supplies. To reach children without access to formal kindergartens, UNICEF support will help to establish a network of pilot kindergartens in homes where local mothers will be trained and equipped to provide care for children.

114. Because many children play in streets and other unsafe areas, there is a high incidence of accidents. UNICEF will assist GOPAR, Palestinian NGOs and local camp authorities to expand access to safe play areas. UNICEF will provide outdoor playground equipment for use in safe play areas and kindergarten grounds. GOPAR, local camp authorities and local NGOs will provide space for playgrounds and fencing, as well as handle supervision and maintenance.

Women in development

115. UNICEF will support surveys and related research to assess labour market needs, women's capabilities, occupational preferences and needs for basic life skills and knowledge. UNICEF support will be continued for literacy services for Palestinian woman provided by UNRWA and local NGOs in the camps, with an emphasis on combining literacy with training in other basic life skills and knowledge. In conjunction with UNRWA and Palestinian NGOs, 300 to 500 Palestinian women will be trained annually in occupations related to labour market needs and women's preferences. In addition, 100 women leaders will be trained in administration, finance and supervision of income-generating activities. UNICEF also will work with UNRWA, Palestinian NGOs and trained women leaders to expand such successful income-generating activities as carpet mending, dress-making and toy production. The women leaders will serve as community focal points for matters related to the development and implementation of income-generating activities.

Cooperation with other United Nations agencies

116. UNRWA is an important United Nations partner in the development and implementation of programmes for Palestinians in the Syrian Arab Republic. Cooperation with UNFPA will focus on safe motherhood and population activities, and with WHO on EPI, CDD, ARI and the control of micronutrient deficiencies. Cooperation with UNDP and the United Nations Development Fund for Women will focus on women's development activities.

C. Palestinian children and women in the West Bank and Gaza

Recommendation for additional general resources for the approved programme, 1994-1995

117. In 1994, the Executive Board approved the 1994-1995 programme for Palestinian children and women in the West Bank and Gaza (E/ICEF/1994/P/L.23). At that time, the general resources planning level was $725,000 per year. Effective 1995, the planning level was increased to $1,200,000, resulting in a shortfall in available funding for 1995. Taking into account financial savings in previous years, the Executive Board is requested to approve an amount of $409,841 in general resources to cover this shortfall in 1995.



Recommended programme cooperation, 1996-1997






Objectives and strategy

118. UNICEF support aims at continuing previous cooperation for Palestinian children and women in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure basic services, with a stronger focus on capacity-building. The proposed programme has been developed through close dialogue with the Palestinian Authority and its various institutions, United Nations agencies, donor partners and NGOs. Within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the mid- and end-decade goals for children, the Palestinian Authority already in engaged in preparing an NPA, which is expected to be finalized in the first half of 1995. The proposal ties in with the various elements currently under development for the NPA.

119. Programme for Palestinian children and women in the West Bank and Gaza have two major objectives: (a) to provide emergency services as needed; and (b) to support a longer-term. process for survival, development and protection through a Palestinian programme of action for children. Special emphasis will continue to be placed on the rehabilitation for children and youth (under the age of 18 years), the generation that needs to recuperate from their lost childhood, lack of education and traumatic experiences due to conflicts.

120. The major policy references for the proposed cooperation are the promotion of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and achieving the goals of the World Summit for Children, through the NPA, with strategies for empowerment, capacity-building and sustainability. In cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, UNICEF assistance will give Priority to: (a) increasing coverage and improving the quality of basic services for vulnerable groups; (b) Eliminating regional-, gender-, economic- and disability-related disparities in the coverage of basic services; (c) developing indigenous capacity to achieve, monitor and sustain the World Summit goals for children through the adoption of relevant policies, plans and programmes; (d) developing indigenous technical, managerial and organizational skills to most basic professional standards for basic services; (e) promoting the Convention and the NPA for children through advocacy, social mobilization, training, technical and material support at national, subnational and community levels; (f) developing broad partnerships with international and local NGOs an well as encouraging private and community self-help initiatives; (g) empowering women and girls to become full participants in the economic and social development process; (h) strengthening coordination and harmonization with United Nations agencies and donors to improve complementarity, efficiency and effectiveness; and (i) developing databases and the planning capacity of the social sector for improving the situation of Palestinian children and women.

Health and nutrition

121. Together with UNRWA, WHO and NGOs, UNICEF will support the Palestinian Authority in strengthening health service policies and management, developing health strategies and standardizing and upgrading health procedures, especially those related to PHC and MCH services. Disparity reduction will be addressed through the upgrading of basic health care in poorly serviced regions such as Hebron.

122. UNICEF will provide vaccines for immunization services; assist in improving the quality of the cold chain, storage facilities, the efficiency of transportation and monitoring of vaccine stocks; and assist in upgrading the skills of managers and health workers for service delivery, monitoring and capacity-building. UNICEF will provide assistance to promote the universal use of ORT among health workers, mothers and child-care givers concerning the management of diarrhoea and dehydration. For ARI, standardized case management and the rational use of drugs will be promoted through health education to correct erroneous popular practices. A priority for maternal health will be to upgrade quality of care for mothers and newborns and to educate woman about childbirth and motherhood, including BFH1 and the promotion of early, exclusive breast-feeding. The promotion of family planning and maternal health through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Information campaigns on birth spacing and family counselling will be major activities.

123. UNICEF assistance for nutrition will focus on the universal availability of iodized salt through advocacy, policy enforcement and cooperation with salt trading companies in the West Bank and Gaza. PHC activities at the community level will include support for the promotion of the environmental health and mental health components (psycho-social health and counselling) and community education services.

Education

124. UNICEF support will reinforce EPA and NPA goals. Major efforts will be made to enhance enrolment and retention rates, with a special focus on the reduction of gender disparity and drop outs, as well as on upgrading the quality of primary education. UNICEF will assist with the provision of learning materials, teacher training and encouraging participatory learning techniques. UNICEF will support the establishment of an education management information system for policy planning and implementation. As part of longer-term capacity-building for the Ministry of Education, UNICEF will cooperate with UNESCO, UNRWA, the World Bank and other relevant agencies to strengthen planning and policy-making capacity in education.

125. UNICEF will cooperate with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health in developing appropriate and effective school health education activities, in line with a skills for life approach.

Early childhood development

126. The ECD programme is part of a basic education strategy to enrich and support normal child development during the critical, formative years from birth to five years. The ECD programme has strong linkages with non-formal education and psycho-social health services with respect to expanding opportunities for the cultural, social and psychological development of young children.

127. The strategy is to reach caregivers, whether they be associated with child-care institutions, households, or service groups, with information and training in ECD. UNICEF, therefore, will provide assistance for community education to promote early childhood stimulation skills among parents and siblings and training of health, social service and youth services professionals to strengthen their skills in advocacy and awareness activities. These personnel will, in turn, reach 10,000 homes at risk by 1997. UNICEF also will provide assistance for (a) the media, especially television and radio, to help them promote ECD; (b) the development of a model for screening for the early detection and prevention of child development problems, with early detection linked to the MCH and primary education services; and (c) the expansion of community initiatives to construct and equip safe play areas for young children. UNICEF will provide technical support to the Ministry of Social Welfare for policy development for children and woman, especially for early child care, and advocacy and technical support for incorporating ECD into national education policy with the Ministry of Education and for other services with the Ministry of Social Work.

Youth and community development

128. The programme will aim at healing the wounds of youth whose values and aspirations will predominate in the next decade. Young children will be reached through combined non-formal education and mental health services. Activities to support rehabilitation, development and empowerment of youth to prepare them for parenthood and civic life will involve cooperation with the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Education, Health and Social Welfare, as well as with a network of local NGOs and sister United Nations agencies. These activities will include sports and recreation, arts, culture, physical and mental health, environmental and personal hygiene, and awareness about acquired immune deficiency syndrome. These activities will be integrated into youth programmes with youth themselves playing major roles in planning and management of services.

129. Capacity-building activities will include (a) the development and maintenance of a database for planning and monitoring services; (b) technical support to the Palestinian Authority for developing and implementing a holistic policy and services to address needs of youth; (c) the promotion of youth clubs to facilitate the participation of girls and young woman in activities; (d) training and other learning experiences for youth leaders on positive leadership skills, teamwork, management and entrepreneurship; and (a) the organization and development of community-based programmes with a skills for life theme, which promote youth participation and responsibility.

Planning, monitoring and evaluation

130. UNICEF cooperation will focus on capacity-building with Palestinian Authority institutions for their involvement in the survival, protection, participation and development of Palestinian children, youth and woman. Planning capacity in relevant sectoral ministries will be supported. A database and a monitoring system on the situation of children, youth and women will be developed with the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, including baseline data and updating of information, e.g. gender indicators, data for programming and goal monitoring. Operations research and evaluation activities will be expanded in collaboration with professional bodies and universities.

Advocacy and communication

131. Advocacy for policy and programme will promote the World Summit Goals and the Convention on the Rights of the Child through the development of a Palestinian NPA for children. UNICEF advocacy should help to integrate the NPA into development plans of the ministry of Planning and the sectorial plans of the Ministries of Health, Education, Youth and Sports, and Social Welfare. The organization of a high-level commission to monitor the implementation of the NPA and the Convention an the Rights of the Child will be facilitated.

132. A multimedia strategy to support advocacy of NPA goals and raise public awareness will be implemented. Television, radio and print media are instrumental channels for social and political mobilization. The training of journalists to portray accurate profiles on the situation of Palestinian children and woman will be undertaken.

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