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Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO)
16 November 2010


EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Brussels, 16/11/2010
SEC(2010) 1428 final



COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection- ECHO

Operational Strategy 2011


INTRODUCTION

The Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) is responsible for formulating EU humanitarian aid policy and for funding humanitarian aid — including food aid — to victims of conflicts or disasters, both natural and man-made, in non-EU countries. Its mandate is to save and preserve life, to reduce or prevent suffering and to safeguard the integrity and dignity of those affected by humanitarian crises. DG ECHO also helps to facilitate coordination with and among EU Member States on humanitarian assistance and civil protection efforts at EU level.

The importance of humanitarian aid policy has been reflected in the appointment of a Commissioner dedicated to humanitarian aid and crisis response in the new Commission. Civil protection activities were transferred to DG ECHO in the new College's portfolio assignments. The Civil Protection Instrument covers interventions in Member States, as well as in non-EU countries.

Humanitarian aid and civil protection are linked, and are now the responsibility of the same Commission department and Commissioner. However, the annual strategy drawn up under article 16.1 of the Council Regulation No 1257/96 covers only humanitarian aid operations. Civil protection activities are described in the annual work programme for actions to be financed in 2011 pursuant to Council Decision No 2007/162/EC.


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3. OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES

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3.3.1. Middle East

Occupied Palestinian Territories

Isolation and fragmentation by the Israeli Authorities of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), caused by systematic restrictions on movement, evictions and recurrent destruction of physical assets, continues to have a strong impact on the livelihoods of the Palestinian population. In this protracted crisis, access of the Palestinian people to basic services such as health, education and water is still severely hampered. LRRD is extremely hard to implement in this particular context. Protection of civilians will be a key horizontal theme for DG ECHO support for populations living in the areas mostly affected by the Israeli occupation: Gaza, East Jerusalem, Area C, and those adjacent to Israeli settlements and the Barrier, including the so-called Seam Zone. DG ECHO will keep intervening in the sectors of livelihood, water and sanitation, health, psychosocial activities, protection and coordination.

Lebanon

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are denied some fundamental civil rights, including ownership of property, full access to employment and access to public services. The lack of full socio-economic rights is causing livelihood insecurity. DG ECHO intends to support Palestinian refugees in sectors of health, livelihood, water and sanitation, shelter and protection as well as advocacy activities. There is some scope for LRRD in Lebanon, notably in the health sector that DG ECHO intends to fully support.

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