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Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
5 June 2015



Highlights

On 26 May, a rocket was launched from Gaza, hitting an inhabited area of Ashkelon, resulting in no casualties. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) responded with 10 airstrikes on several Islamic Jihad military sites across Gaza. No casualties were reported.

According to the World Bank report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, unemployment in the Gaza Strip is one of the highest in the world at 43% -- nearly 60% amongst youth.

Through the work of the UNICEF-supported Family Centres, 8,122 children (4,059 girls and 4,063 boys) and 15,106 caregivers (10,076 females and 5,030 males) were reached since the beginning of 2015.

During the reporting period, 38,441 children (19,197 girls and 19,244 boys) and 22,407 caregivers (13,743 females and 8,664 males) have received Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) risk education through radio spots and awareness raising in the Family Centres. In addition, 95,004 governmental school children in the primary school age across the Gaza Strip have received ERW risk education as part of their school curriculum.

Since January 2015, UNICEF and its partners Al Nayzak, Ma'an, INJAZ and PalVision reached 21,982 adolescents (boys and girls) in the West Bank and Gaza, through skill-building activities, as part of the Adolescent programme.

UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Education to train 11,000 teachers across Palestine on classroom management and the application of non-violence protocols in Gaza.

As 27 of May, the number of IDPs stands at 2,071 in 7 UNRWA Collective Centers (CC).

2.3 million
# of affected population

1 million
# of affected children under 18

450,000
# of people targeted in 2015

250,000
# of children targeted in 2015
(Source: UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2015)

USD 37.3 million
January — December 2015

Funds Received *
USD 22.7 million
*as of 29 May, 2015


"We are born with differences: our languages, the way we think, and the way we see — no one resembles another. But we are similar too. We feel, we love, and we seek life as it should be. Each one of us has his/her own place; a place that is only theirs. And then comes the time when we realize that this is Life as it should be."

These are the words inscribed by adolescents on a statue they erected in one of Gaza City's busiest squares with the help of local artists to raise awareness on the rights of children with disabilities. This adolescent-led initiative was coordinated by UNICEF's partner TAMER Institute for Community Education, with funds from the Italian Committee for UNICEF.


Situation Overview

As we approach one year since the start of escalation of hostilities in Gaza, tensions are on the increase. During the night of 26 May, in response to a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Ashkelon, Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Islamic Jihad military sites across the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported from either side.

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the body that serves as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people under the framework of the Oslo Agreement was convened in Brussels on 27 May. The World Bank, United Nations, European Union, International Monetary Fund and the Palestinian Government prepared their updated reports on the last six months. All actors highlighted the political, economic and human unsustainability of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the slowed post-conflict reconstruction and the limitation of movement in the West Bank. According to the World Bank report, Gaza experiences one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world at 43%, with as many as 60% of youth being unemployed. Moreover, the 2007 blockade has so far reduced Gaza's GDP by approximately 50%. GDP decrease negatively impacts on provision of public and social services as well as on private income, which is mainly felt by the most vulnerable segments of the Gaza population, including women and children.

The amount of goods leaving the Gaza Strip for Israel, West Bank, and international markets in the first quarter of 2015 has already surpassed the total amount recorded during the whole of 2014. According to a briefing by UN OCHA, 234 truckloads of agricultural products, furniture and garments exited Gaza during January-March, exceeding the 228 truckloads that left in 2014. Israeli authorities allowed a partial resumption of commercial transfers from Gaza to the West Bank in November 2014. This was followed in March by the first exports of agricultural products from Gaza into

Israel since June 2007. While an improvement, the average figure of 18 truckloads per week is a small fraction of the 219 truckloads that left Gaza weekly in the first half of 2007, prior to the blockade.

The Rafah Crossing with Egypt was opened for three days, from 26 to 28 May, only in one direction allowing Palestinians to return to Gaza. A 48 hour opening was extended by one day in order to enable those stranded at the border to return to Gaza. An elderly Palestinian woman reportedly died at the border as temperatures soared to 46 degrees. The opening of the Rafah Crossing, demanded by the Gaza population and national authorities as well as ING0s, is vital for the movement of people, included children. However, since the political changes in Egypt in 2013, the crossing has been closed most of the time, preventing Palestinian population, including students, to travel to/from the Gaza Strip.

The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in seven UNRWA Collective Centres (CC) has significantly declined over the past weeks and stands at 2,071 as of 27 May. The majority of the IDPs have moved out of UNRWA shelters as they received support to be able to either find alternative temporary housing or conduct repair works of their shelters.

Humanitarian leadership and coordination

UNICEF, as part of the UN Country Team, coordinates with the Palestinian Government to support its role in humanitarian response, early recovery and reconstruction. In cooperation with the Government and other UN partners, UNICEF participated extensively in the Palestinian Detailed Needs Assessment and will continue to support the development of the recovery framework and strategy. UNICEF leads the Child Protection Working Group and affiliated groups on Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS), and on monitoring and reporting of grave violations against children (Children and Armed Conflict reporting mechanism). These groups have been merged to maximise coordination of child protection responses during the emergency. UNICEF also leads the UN Theme Group on Social Protection. UNICEF leads the WASH cluster and co-leads the Education cluster with Save the Children, both in Gaza and at the national level. UNICEF also co-leads a Nutrition Working Group under the Health Cluster, in close collaboration with the MoH and WFP, in Gaza and at the national level.

During the reporting period, a team from the Geneva-based Global Cluster Coordination conducted a mission in the State of Palestine aimed at reviewing the existing Coordination Architecture as well as establishing common benchmarks for cluster transition. An all day workshop was organized, opened by the HC and attended by members of the humanitarian team in the country, including UNICEF SoP.

Summary Analysis of Programme Response per Section

Education and Adolescents

Under the Badir programme, 9,848 adolescents from 291 groups in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 2,986 adolescents from 89 groups in Gaza, implemented community initiatives, with the support of UNICEF, the National Task Force1, school teachers, principals and Al Nayzak coordinators. The projects aims at constructively engaging 10,000 adolescents aged 12-14 in the West Bank and Jerusalem (50% girls) and 3,000 in Gaza (50% girls) with their communities through leading positive innovative initiatives. The adolescents use traditional platforms and advanced technological tools for lobbying.

During the reporting period, 11 youth mobilizers increased their skills to support adolescent initiatives and trainings, during a two-day training workshop, with support from the NGO Pal Vision and UNICEF. UNICEF and its partner INJAZ also continues delivering a joint programme for 3,048 targeted youth through in-class activities and field visits. Leadership competitions were celebrated in the nine targeted locations, in West Bank and Gaza, to evaluate, promote and encourage the social work of the enrolled youth, thus fostering commitment and motivation.

UNICEF has been supporting a comprehensive capacity building programme aimed at enhancing school management capacities and promoting the non-violence policy and inclusive child friendly classrooms at school level. During April and May, 442 school principals and members of School Discipline Committees in Gaza were trained on the application of the non-violence in school policy. The training focused on the implementation of the non-violence policy and promoting tolerance, constructive and positive attitudes at school level. During the reporting period 1,181 students in Gaza learned new mediation, communication and negotiation skills.

"If I have peace and love inside me, I will spread peace and love among the students." This is how Mervat, a high school teacher, described her experience during a class room management training organized by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. "This training has provided me with the knowledge of how to encourage students to learn and participate in the classroom in a joyful manner," she adds.

UNICEF is supporting training of 11,000 teachers on classroom management in Gaza. The teachers are using new tools and approaches to reduce violence in school, increase student participation and turn classrooms into spaces of active and peaceful learning.


Child Protection

UNICEF supported the Tamer Institute for Community Education, and the Ma'an Development Center to continue providing psychosocial services to children and caregivers in Gaza. Since 1 January 2015, 27,506 children (13,921 girls and 13,585 boys) have benefited from structured psychosocial support activities and individual and group counselling. In addition, 238 children (102 girls and 136 boys) were reached by Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) with specialized mental health support services.

Through the work of the UNICEF supported Family Centres, 8,122 children (4,059 girls and 4,063 boys) and 15,106 caregivers (10,076 females and 5,030 males) were reached since the beginning of 2015 in Gaza. The Family Centers provide: case management to respond to the needs of particularly vulnerable children who require multiple services, life skills education, as well as awareness raising sessions on child protection and psychosocial development of children.

During the reporting period, 38,441 children (19,197 girls and 19,244 boys) and 22,407 caregivers (13,743 females and 8,664 males) have received education on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) risks through radio spots and awareness raising in Family Centres. In addition 95,004 governmental primary school children benefitted from such ERW risk education as part of their curriculum.

Since 1 January, the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Working Group co-led by UNICEF and WHO has reached 54,681 children with structured group activities, 9,699 children with individual counselling services, and 281 children with specialized mental health services. A further 25,430 adults have benefitted from structured psychosocial activities and counselling.

In addition to the above, the UNICEF led Child Protection Working group reached 113,546 children and 4,920 adults with ERW risk education. 130,936 children, 35,665 adults have received child protection services such as case management, awareness raising on child labour, children/caregivers interaction programs and life skills education. Members of the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) and Mental Health and Psycho Social Services (MHPSS) Working Group also provide a variety of additional recreational and basic psychosocial activities, including open days, sporting activities, expressive arts and drama

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

During the reporting period, 1,235 households in Juhor Ad Dik and Bureij camp, which were directly affected by the war, benefitted from the distribution of 979 family hygiene kits, 360 adult hygiene kits and 529 baby hygiene kits distributed through UNICEF partner ACF.

UNICEF through its partnership with the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) has started the distribution of 2,705 cubic meters of safe drinking water in 575 installed water tanks and the distribution of 5,400 jerry cans in the areas of Sheja'yeh, Beit Hanoun and Khuza'a, which were affected by the 2014 conflict. Water tankering distribution was completed for 575 families in Sheja'yeh and Khuza'a and Beit Hanoun. In addition 5,400 jerry cans were distributed to 1800 families in the same areas.

Child Health & Nutrition

During the reporting period, UNICEF supplied six maternity wards with 9,000 bedsheets and 800 medical mattresses. These supplies will help provide moms and new-borns with healthy, clean and comfortable conditions in maternity wards which often offer no comfort and limited hygiene. Since January 2015, over 66 tons of drugs and consumables were cleared for delivery to the Ministry of Health in Gaza to address immediate needs and for prepositioning.

Since January 2015, 1,991 women have benefited from the post-natal care services programme through home visits by specialized midwives.

As a part of supporting the process of polio eradication, 40 physicians out of 200 planned were trained in enhancing knowledge, skills and attitudes of paediatricians towards achieving a high quality "acute flaccid paralysis (AFP)" surveillance system.

Being born in Gaza is not easy. Maternity wards are chronically overcrowded, lack adequate equipment and stocks of medical supplies run low. Often there are not even sheets on the beds of the new mothers as laundry services are impacted by electricity and water shortages. UNICEF supplied maternity wards with bed sheets and medical mattresses.

#gaza4children


Summary of Programme Results





Funding


Note: Total cash on hand is $28,091,263 of which $22,734,775 is funding received against the appeal for this year, and $5,356,488 is budget carried forward from prior year.

Meeting the urgent humanitarian needs of affected children and families in the State of Palestine will contribute to reduced tensions and increased stability. In order to achieve this goal, additional funds are required to expand existing programmes that are being successfully implemented on the ground in the following sectors: Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Education /Adolescents, Child Protection, Social Protection, Health and Nutrition.
UNICEF wishes to express its deep gratitude to all public and private sector donors for the contributions and pledged received, which have made the current response possible. 'Un-earmarked' funding gives UNICEF essential flexibility to direct resources and ensure the delivery of life-saving supplies and interventions to where they are needed most. Continued donor support is critical to continue scaling up the response.

Note: Total cash on hand is $28,091,263 of which $22,734,775 is funding received against the appeal for this year, and $5,356,488 is budget carried forward from prior year.

Next SitRep: 3 July 2015

UNICEF State of Palestine: http://www.unicef.org/oPt/
UNICEF State of Palestine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/u nicefstateofpa lesti ne
UNICEF State of Palestine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UNICEFpalestine
UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2015: http://www.unicef.org/appeals/state of palestine.html

Whom to contact for further information:
Costanza Pasquali Lasagni, Reporting Specialist, UNICEF State of Palestine
Phone: +972 (0)2 584 0455, mobile : +972 (0)54 778 7685 Email: cpasqualilasagni@unicef.org https://www.unicef.org/oPt https://www.facebook.com/unicefstateofpalestine

Endnotes
1 The National Task Force is constituted by members of the AINayzak Volunteer Unit, i.e. adolescents who graduated in the Young Researcher programme, implemented by UNICEF partner AINayzak.
2 The voucher programme for school supplies and materials was expanded resulting in more beneficiaries than the target.

http://www.unicef.org/appeals/files/SoP_SitRep_5_June_2015.pdf


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