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Source: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
3 July 2015



Reporting Period: 28 May — 24 June

Highlights

Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, and subsequent Israeli Air Force airstrikes in response, were reported on the nights of 4, 7 and 24 June with no casualties or damages on either side.

The UN Secretary-General's report on Children and Armed Conflict and the Independent Commission of Inquiry's report on the 2014 Gaza conflict were released respectively on 8 and 22 June. Both underline serious concerns regarding grave violations against children committed by parties to the conflict, in particular during last summer's hostilities.

All the UNRWA Collective Centers were closed by mid-June and IDPs were resettled in hosting families or temporary accommodations supported by housing rental subsidies and reintegration grants.

As part of its efforts to strengthen child protection and social welfare systems, a case management process has been launched in Gaza with UNICEF support which includes registration, comprehensive assessment, planning, and follow-up over a period of weeks.

Since January 2015, UNICEF's ADAP programme has reached 24,496 adolescents (59% female) through the work of its partners Al Nayzak, INJAZ, PalVision, Tamer, Save Youth Future Society and Ma'an Development Centre. Al Nayzak concluded the Badir ("Initiate") programme in 18 schools in West-Bank and 12 schools in Gaza. The involved adolescents were able to reach 121,500 people through their initiatives, 41 of which were nominated to participate in a national exhibition.

Since January 2015, 38,489 children (19,210 girls and 19,279 boys) and 22,560 caregivers (13,878 females and 8,682 males) have received Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) risk education through radio spots and awareness-raising in 24 Family Centres. In addition, 95,004 governmental primary school children have received ERW risk education as part of their school curriculum across Gaza.

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)

UNICEF State of Palestine Funding Appeal for 2015
USD 37.3 million

January— December 2015 Funds Received *
USD 23 million (62%)

*as of 25 June, 2015


Situation Overview

The situation in Gaza remains precarious. Rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel, followed by Israeli Air Force (IAF) strikes in return, have been reported during the nights of 4, 7 and 24 June; no casualties or damage were reported.

The Palestinian Government of National Consensus formed through the "Beach Camp Agreements" on 2 June 2014 and in force since then, resigned on 13 June. Discussions are underway for the formation of a new Government.

The Palestinian Government also announced it would start the reconstruction of the 18,000 homes totally destroyed in Gaza during the 2014 conflict. To date, reparations subsidies and construction materials have been provided only to households whose homes suffered from minor to major levels of damage.

On 8 June, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon released the Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, which includes a chapter on Israel and Palestine highlighting that parties to the conflict committed grave violations of children's rights during the 2014 hostilities in Gaza.

On 22 June, the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict released its report on violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the context of the military operations conducted last summer. According to the report, the Commission was "able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups." In some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes. The Commission urged all involved actors to ensure accountability.

The Rafah Crossing with Egypt was opened in both directions from 13 to 19 June and again on 23 to 25 June. Since the political changes in Egypt in 2013, the crossing has been closed most of the time, preventing the Palestinian population, including students, to travel to/from the Gaza Strip. Recent talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Egypt have been led in order to agree on a more permanent, scheduled opening. The current proposal would maintain Rafah open in both directions for three days a week.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza entered its 8th year in June 2015. The blockade continues to severely restrict imports and exports of goods, curtailing access to markets and depleting the economy; severely restrict access to fishing grounds and to some arable land; impede reconstruction efforts; and impede people's movement, including students and those in need of accessing specialized medical care, in and out of Gaza.

As of 17 June, all remaining IDPs hosted in the UNRWA Collective Centers managed to be resettled within hosting families or in temporary accommodations, supported by the rental subsidy and reintegration packages and financial support for repair work. All Collective Centers are now under maintenance to be used as educational facilities for the next school year.

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). 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.

Summary Analysis of Programme Response per Section

Education and Adolescents

A summer Remedial Education program has been planned with support from UNICEF to address some of the weaknesses among low achieving students and to decrease the gaps between them and their peers through catch up lessons in numeracy and literacy. Selection of schools and students is underway. The program will be implemented in July and August and will target 4,800 students (50% girls) in grades 2 to 6 in 131 schools, focusing on remediation in Arabic and Math. In conjunction with the remedial classes, students will also participate in extra-curricular activities (arts, sports and physical education) to provide stress release and engage children in an uplifting learning environment.

Since January 2015, UNICEF's ADAP programme has reached 24,496 adolescents (59% female) through the work of its partners Al Nayzak, INJAZ, PalVision, Tamer, Save Youth Future Society and Ma'an Development Centre. Al Nayzak concluded the Badir ("Initiate") programme in 18 schools in West-Bank and 12 schools in Gaza. The involved adolescents were able to reach 121,500 people through their initiatives, 41 of which were nominated to participate in a national exhibition. The National Closing Ceremony and Exhibition was held on 9 June at Ramallah Cultural palace, as well as in Gaza. 500 adolescents presented their initiatives to the exhibition visitors and interacted with them, and the winners' schools were honoured.

During the reporting period, UNICEF partner INJAZ concluded a project on business and entrepreneurial skills enhancement for youth, and started collecting data for the evaluation. Throughout the project, 3,048 trained adolescents conducted 184 initiatives and reached 4,000 students as indirect beneficiaries.

As part of the preparatory phase of a new project "Palestinian Marginalized Adolescents as Leaders of Community Change" implemented by UNICEF's partner PalVision, 659 adolescents (397 females and 262 males) participated in skills development trainings. Additionally, 12 mobilizers were recruited and participated in trainings and meetings to enable them to deliver the knowledge and skills development sessions to 1,200 adolescents and awareness-raising workshops to 660 school students.

Child Protection

As part of its efforts to strengthen child protection and social welfare systems, a case management process has been launched in Gaza with UNICEF support which includes registration, comprehensive assessment, planning, and follow-up over a period of weeks. The Ministry of Social Affairs Child Protection Networks, Tamer and Ma'an Family Centers are now using the case management approach and receiving referrals for case management. UNICEF supported Family Centers and Child Protection Networks have reached 155 children (59 girls and 96 boys) with the case management approach so far.

UNICEF also supports the provision of child protection services through 23 Family Centres operating across the Gaza Strip. At least 8,621 children (4,364 girls and 4,257 boys) and 18,078 caregivers (12,576 females and 5,502 males) were reached through the centers since the beginning of 2015 through life skills education and case management, to respond to the needs of particularly vulnerable children, who require multiple services. The family centers and the emergency psychosocial teams also provide caregivers with awareness-raising sessions on child protection, and means to support the psychosocial development of their children.

Since January 2015, UNICEF, through the support of its child protection implementing partners, Ma'an Development Center, Tamer Institute for Community Education and the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), was able to reach out to 30,444 children (15,457 girls and 14,987 boys) through structured/focused psychosocial support services, including individual and group counselling. In addition, 314 children (139 girls and 175 boys) were reached by UNICEF and the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP) with specialized mental health support services.

Since 1 January, the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Working Group co-led by UNICEF/WHO reached 58,707 children with structured group and individual counselling services, and 440 children with specialized mental health services. A further 24,042 adults have been reached with structured psychosocial activities and counselling. In the West Bank, the Working Group has finalized the 5Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHOM) data entry sheet with list of activities and definitions that will be used to report on their activities related to mental health and psychosocial activities from the beginning of the year.

Since January 2015, 38,489 children (19,210 girls and 19,279 boys) and 22,560 caregivers (13,878 females and 8,682 males) have received ERW risk education through radio spots and awareness raising in Family Centres, and 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.

The UNICEF-led Child Protection Working Group reached 133,893 children and 22,560 adults with ERW risk education. 132,154 children and 37,256 adults have received child protection services including case management, awareness raising on child labour, children/caregivers interaction programs and life skills education. Members of the CPWG and MHPSS Working Group provide a variety of additional recreational and basic psychosocial activities, including open days, sporting activities, expressive arts and drama, for which the number of beneficiaries are not included in the above figures.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Over 1,550 families in the war-affected areas of Shaja'iyeh, Beit Hanoun and Khuzaa received 1,649 cubic meter of safe drinking water, while 200 families of the same areas had access to 200 water tanks.

The Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) facilitated the installation of 130m of sewer pipes and the connection to the sewage system of 8 households in the Khan Younis area. Around 150 inhabitants, half of them children, will benefit from the intervention, with support from UNICEF.

Three power generators of 110 KVA each were procured and delivered to CMWU, which installed them in the sewage pumping stations of Moghraqa, Zawaida and Bani Suhaila, substituting the old ones. 30,000 inhabitants will benefit from water pumping services during electricity black-outs, and improve risk prevention

Child Health & Nutrition

During the reporting period, the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir el Balah, Middle Area, and the Khan Younis hospital, in Khan Younis, started developing their Baby Friendly policy, as part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative that UNICEF has been supporting in Palestine since October 2011, aimed at promoting exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding practices. The BFHI aims to upgrade health facilities as baby friendly by implementing the 10 steps for successful breastfeeding and to end the practice of distribution of free breast milk substitutes to hospitals and health care facilities. The BFHI includes community and family interventions that create an enabling environment which protects supports and promotes breast feeding among pregnant women, lactating mothers and their relatives.

As part of the training programme on achieving a high quality "acute flaccid paralysis" (AFP) surveillance system, 187 physicians enhanced their knowledge, skills and attitude through 10 training workshops.

Since January 2015, 25,969 women have benefitted from Breast-feeding & Complementary Awareness sessions on mother and child care, while 2,466 mothers and new-borns benefitted from specialized post-natal home visits (PNHV) as part of a programme conducting medical check-ups of high-risk mothers and newborns. In order to scale up the PNHV Programme, post-natal child care was started in 18 clinics all across the Gaza Strip. Mother and Child Health (MCH) clinics do medical check-ups of new-borns starting a week after birth, in addition to pre-natal and vaccination programmes already ongoing in the same clinics.

During the reporting period, 8,000 vials of Hepatitis B vaccine were delivered to the West Bank on behalf of the Ministry of Health.


Summary of Programme Results






1 The supply of water tanks and provision of materials for WASH rehabilitations is pending approval for Local Procurement.
2 The indicator was changed to reflect the number of cases documented. Previously it was the number of children affected.
3 The voucher programme for school supplies and materials was expanded resulting in more beneficiaries than the target.
4 Protective presence activities will start as of July 2015.
5 Offshore procurement is in process.

Funding

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 pledges 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.








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