• The situation in East Jerusalem remains tense. Child protection concerns continue as a result. During the fourth quarter, 220 arrests of children in East Jerusalem were documented by Wadi Hilweh Centre. UNICEF reached 195 children in conflict with the law (88.6 per cent of those identified) with legal support through the Wadi Hilweh Centre. Protection of civilians continues to be a main humanitarian concern. According to UNOCHA, from 13-26 December, Israeli forces injured 72 Palestinians, including at least eight children.
In Gaza, the reconstruction work of three wells in Khan Younis, Maghazi and Deir Al Balah destroyed during the last conflict were completed, benefitting around 37,000 people. The rehabilitation works of sewage and water networks in Khan Younis and Rafah governorate were also completed to benefit around 58,000 people.
In Gaza, children's learning experience is negatively affected by the short school days due to double shifts and chronic overcrowding. In the West Bank, harassment of children on the way to school continues to be a key issue. Security-related incidents have also affected school infrastructure in Area C and areas close to settlements.
A total of 3,150 women and 7,969 children under 5 were screened for malnutrition disorders, of which a total of 489 children were found malnourished, of which some 10 cases as SAM and the rest (479 cases) as MAM. During the fourth quarter, UNICEF supported them with therapeutic food, through existing services and partners.
In line with the Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF's funding requirements for 2017 are:
# of affected population
# of people affected
(OCHA HRP 2016)
# of Children targeted out of
# of people targeted
(Source: UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2016)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Humanitarian needs remain critical in Palestine. In Gaza, health care services struggle to function without adequate stocks of lifesaving medicines and supplies. The lack of access to clean water in Gaza and water scarcity in parts of the West Bank continues to be challenging. One in every four children in Gaza is in need of protection and psychosocial support. The restrictions imposed by Israel since April 2016 on the entry of building materials into Gaza, slowed the pace of reconstruction of homes destroyed or damaged during the 2014 conflict, and prolong the vulnerability of more than 10,000 families who are still displaced1. Children slipped deeper into poverty, with some still living in protracted displacement. In Gaza, low-lying areas face risk of flooding, which could affect up to 500,000 people, as well as 64 schools and 10 health centres2.
Children in the West Bank suffered the highest losses of the past decade with 32 child fatalities due to Israeli Security Forces and private security guards' actions in 2016. Significant numbers of children were also displaced as the Government of Israel carried out a record-breaking pace of home demolitions3.
Due to limitations imposed on WASH infrastructural development by the blockade and the occupation, some 1.45 million people in Palestine (around 1.3 million people in the Gaza Strip and 150,000 people in the West Bank) are in need of humanitarian WASH related assistance4. The high unemployment rate of adolescents and lack of opportunities also remain a significant challenge throughout Palestine.
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. UNICEF leads the WASH cluster in close cooperation with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), and co-leads the Education Cluster with Save the Children in Gaza. At the national level, the Education Cluster has transitioned to a sector working group on Education in Emergencies, co-chaired by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) and UNICEF, responsible for coordinating emergency response. UNICEF is also leading Cluster transitioning in WASH, through capacity building towards increased Government ownership, with the PWA playing an increasingly important role.
UNICEF also 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 co-leads the Nutrition Working Group under the Health Cluster in Gaza and at the national level, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and WHO.
UNICEF promotes 'resilient development', that is, responding to children and families' needs to be better prepared for and manage crises, and recover from them more rapidly. This requires addressing the underlying drivers of inequity and fragility that cause grave violations, social deprivation and stresses. It also entails bridging the arbitrary divide between development and humanitarian assistance, integrating risk factors into programming, and strengthening systems that can anticipate as well as absorb shocks in the event of conflict, violence or disasters.
In Palestine, UNICEF ensures complementarity with national efforts in the most vulnerable communities. UNICEF provides technical expertise and support in strengthening child protection systems and services, including case management and referrals. It monitors and reports on grave violations against children, thus informs evidence-based advocacy for improved protection of children, as well as programming. Children crossing checkpoints in the West Bank are protected to ensure safer access to schools. Children affected by conflict benefit from education supplies and remedial learning. Adolescents engage in learning and recreational programmes, to become agents of positive change in communities. UNICEF also supports the rehabilitation of water and sewage systems in affected communities in Gaza and the West Bank. In addition, UNICEF promotes early childhood development, and supports the provision of essential and life-saving paediatric medicines and medical consumables, including micronutrient supplementation and infant and young child feeding for children and women.
Summary Analysis of Programme Response per Sector
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
In Gaza, a total of 3,408 people improved their drinking water capacity as well their domestic water capacity by receiving 568 and 413 Polyethylene (PE) water storage units, and 3,600 people received chlorinated tankered drinking water. Furthermore, 3,605 m3 wastewater was vacuumed from cesspits at risk of flooding, 29 solid waste 1m3 containers were provided to municipalities in Gaza, and 48 environmental health and hygiene campaigns were conducted.
Figure 1 School girls dance at the end of the event marking
Global Handwashing Day at the MoEHE in Ramallah
Various events such as morning speeches, awareness sessions for students involving drama, drawings, songs and dabkeh took place in the West Bank and Gaza in preparation of the Global Handwashing Day (GHD).
The WASH sector faces challenges in maintaining WASH facilities and breakdowns or contamination of the aquifer due to delays and restriction of construction materials into Gaza, and limited financial resources. Overall progress towards the cluster objectives has been limited due to the lack of funds. The total amount requested for HRP 2016 was $29.6M, and the amount received was $8.9M ($1.4 for the West Bank and 7.5 for Gaza).
During the fourth quarter of 2016, in Gaza, 28 Family Centres supported by UNICEF and run by Ma'an and Tamer/ PCDCR reached 1,042 children with structured psychosocial support (group and individual counselling). A total of 35,423 children (49% females) benefited since January 2016.
Additionally, 1,673 children received child protection services inside the family centres in the form of life skills, case management and child/parent interaction programs. A total of 15,101 children (51% boys) benefited, including 3,475 vulnerable children who received case management services. Over 2,179 caregivers increased their awareness on the protection of their children and positive discipline - with a total of 32,544 caregivers (45% male) reached since January.
As part of UNICEF's efforts to strengthen the Gaza Child Protection Networks (CPNs), at least 72 CPN members strengthened their skills related to Child Protection Standard Operating Procedures in case management, child rights programming, and child safeguarding policy. In the West Bank, 61 school counsellors, 61 supervisors, and 1,653 teachers (905 females and 948 males) increased their capacity to respond appropriately and sensitively to children with challenging behaviours, through training on alternatives to corporal punishment. Additionally, child play therapy rooms and central specialised counselling units were activated.
Overall progress is often hindered by short term funding envelops, which limit the ability to sustain support to child protection system strengthening efforts.
Education and Adolescente
Through UNICEF's civic engagement and entrepreneurial programmes, disadvantaged adolescents were supported in developing critical life skills. The programme also featured the development of youth-led initiatives addressing issues of conflict, violence, and social cohesion. During the reporting period, UNICEF and its partners Palvision, Al Nayzak and Ma'an reached a total of 11,067 new beneficiaries (59% female) in the West Bank and Gaza.
In December, in Gaza, UNICEF equipped a total of 90 less-resourced classrooms in public schools with age-appropriate furniture based on CFS standards, ceiling fans and curtains. The targeted schools accommodate 5,917 students (68% female), bringing the total number of children that benefited from the provision of supplies and materials to 71,705 students in 2016. A central training on emergency preparedness, fire suspension and first aid was delivered in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to 28 education staff in November.
Overall progress towards the Cluster objectives has been limited due to a lack of funds for the humanitarian education response. Only USD 6.3 million out of the USD 18.0 million total HRP education requirements were funded.
Child Health & Nutrition
UNICEF provided emergency health care supplies to the Ministry of Health and other partners, mainly the Near East Council of Churches and Union of Health Work Committee, in Gaza, including drugs and medical consumables. A total of 12,000 women and children received support during this quarter (two third were children). This brings the cumulative progress to a total of 408,020 women and children benefitting from the emergency health care supplies in 2016.
During the reporting period, micronutrient supplementation through the MoH and UNRWA services to pregnant and lactating mothers (PLM) reached 62,268, and 38,466 children under 5 (50% females) in the West Bank and Gaza respectively. In total, UNICEF reached 170,830 PLM and 129,129 children under 5.
In Gaza, during the fourth quarter of 2016, with UNICEF support, the MoH, NECC and the UHWC reached 1,928 mothers and their new-born babies through home visiting by skilled midwives. UNICEF equipped neonate units and surgical departments at MoH Al Shifa and Khan Younis hospitals with medical supplies. Partial delivery of equipment to the Rafah hospital started in the fourth quarter. In addition, 10 breast-feeding corners at 10 Primary Health Care clinics near emergency shelters received equipment to benefit 3000 lactating mothers during emergency crisis.
In the West Bank, emergency preparedness training, including first aid, and basic life support benefited community members and health professionals. To contribute to the reduction of neonatal and children's deaths, UNICEF, MoH and the Paediatric Association jointly organized, with technical assistance from WHO, a Paediatric Conference on 2-3 December 2016 in Gaza. More than 400 paediatricians from Gaza and the West Bank attended.
Communications for Development (C4D)
UNICEF, in partnership with the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, continued to implement a campaign supporting the launch of a WASH seawater desalination plant in the Gaza Strip. Pretested materials were distributed (e.g. billboards, leaflets, messages on the back of electricity bills, video, radio show); social workers were trained and visited future beneficiaries of outreach services; and media were briefed. The aim is to promote the adoption of safe handling and water conservation practices. In addition, as part of the multi-sector WFP-UNICEF joint e-voucher programme in Gaza, a campaign was conducted to promote good practices in targeted communities on safe water handling and conservation, hygiene and management and prevention of water-borne diseases. 12,800 booklets and 2,000 posters were distributed, and nine billboards were produced. Three radio spots were aired during prime time on three radio stations for a period of 21 days.
Supply and Logistics
As part of emergency preparedness, UNICEF procured sanitation and potable water facilities for the Designated Emergency Shelters in four schools in Gaza. Long term arrangements with Gaza-based suppliers will facilitate the provision and delivery of hygiene kits. The controls and restrictions on the importation of supplies remains a key challenge (supplies perceived to have dual usage take longer time to secure approvals from the relevant authorities). Six water tankering trucks for humanitarian assistance in Gaza have not entered Gaza yet, due to coordination delays at Erez border crossing. The trucks have been have been ready for delivery in to Gaza since 22 November, 2016.
Media and External Communication
An advocacy sub-strategy focusing on children in the Gaza Strip was produced, which will complement the overall advocacy strategy on children in the State of Palestine. Advocacy focused on violence against children in and out of school; education-related violations; protective accompaniment of students to and from school; adolescent participation; and the needs of children with disabilities. A study on children with disabilities in the State of Palestine was launched in Ramallah and Gaza early December 2016, coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The security level remained unchanged (low in Jerusalem and Israel, moderate in the West Bank and substantial in Gaza). Nationalistic violence by Palestinian and Israeli civilians continued; there were more than 260 clashes between Palestinian and ISF resulting in the death of 13 Palestinians and 2 Israelis with injuries of more than 120 Palestinian and more than 45 Israelis. More than 10 stabbing cases and more than 10 armed conflict with stone and Molotov cocktail throwing were reported in Jerusalem and the West Bank during the fourth quarter 20165. The recently adopted UN resolution 2334 on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem triggered strong reactions.
UNICEF State of Palestine: http://www.unicef.org/oPt/
UNICEF State of Palestine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unicefstateofpalestine
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
UNICEF State of Palestine
Deputy Special Representative
Email: adufay(@un icef.orci
Chief of Communications
Email : cweibel(@unicef.orq
* Distribution of HK is scheduled in January 17
**4,334 children and 333 teachers mentioned in the sitrep equals the 4,667 total in the table. It's the same beneficiaries every month,
nothing new to report.