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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 December 2005

Issues, Facts
and Figures

Poverty is rising

• Poverty levels are high and worsening – 64% in oPt and 78% in the Gaza Strip
• 1.2 million Palestinians live in extreme poverty.
• Poverty has more than trebled since 1999.
• 57% of employees have monthly wages below the poverty line in Second Quarter 2005.
• Inequality is increasing. The richest 10% of the population consume 38% of total consumption compared to 25% in 1998.

Protection remained a key concern in 2005

• During the first 10 months of 2005, 208 Palestinians were killed and 1,297 were injured. 89 Israelis were killed and 388 were injured.
• 253 structures were demolished in the West Bank in the first ten months of 2005.
• More than 5,300 hectares of Palestinian land was requisitioned for the construction of the Barrier
• More than 278 access incidents were reported by ambulance providers in the first ten months of 2005.
• 720 access incidents were reported by humanitarian agencies in the same period.

Long-term health consequences of closure and conflict are emerging

• Some 2,800 children die every year from mainly preventable diseases.
• Infant Mortality Rate (at 24.2 per 1000 live births) is rising in Gaza (2000-4) while falling in the West Bank. In Gaza the Under 5 Mortality Rate has increased more than 15% due to increased newborn mortality.
• Malnutrition is currently 10%. Iron deficiency anaemia is a major nutritional problem affecting over 25% of children under five and 33% of women of childbearing age.
• 34.5% of women received postnatal care within the first six weeks of delivery (2004).
• Mental health is a growing concern due to insecurity and everyday stressors. One-third of children have experienced violence.

Food aid is becoming a more important as households as they allocate scarce resources to other essential needs

• 37% of the population is food insecure. The most affected areas are Hebron, Jenin and Tubas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
• Since the start of the intifada, food consumption levels have fallen by 25% per capita (higher in the Gaza Strip).
• There has been a rise in stunting levels of children under 5-years-old.
• An increasing proportion of households indicate that food is their top priority need.

Agriculture has become a vital shock absorber but water and land resources together with access to markets are the largest constraint

• Contribution of agriculture to employment has increased
• Agriculture provides employment for 39% of those in the informal sector.

Access to education has become a major concern in Barrier-affected communities while the deteriorating quality of education is a problem more generally

• The Barrier will affect some 80 schools and 20,000 students. Nine schools remain closed by military order, three of which have been converted to military bases.
• The quality of education is declining. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement stated that the oPt was one of the lowest ranking countries. It ranked 39 out of 46 in Grade 8 Mathematics.

Rising unemployment and falling wages are the main cause of widespread poverty

• Unemployment is 30% and the rate has risen in past months
• The Palestinian economy needs to create 30,000 new jobs each year to absorb the expanding labour force.

The quality and quantity of water provided to the Palestinian population is an ongoing concern

• 200 communities are not connected to a water network.
• In 64% of the West Bank communities, supplied with water from the Mekorot water agency, the quantities supplied decreased significantly.

2005 Highlights

The 2005 appeal amounted $302 million and has been funded at 59% so far, i.e. $177 million received.

• In response to specific acute crisis areas basic coverage of health needs and delivery of services was largely achieved thanks to the variety of actors in the sector.

• In psychosocial support, only two objectives were fulfilled, setting up an emergency preparedness and response system and setting up child friendly spaces in emergency situations.

• In education, while the commitment to basic needs seemed quite high (teaching and learning), services to the 16-18 years target group deteriorated neglected due to lack of attention/funding.

• Regular food assistance has contributed to supporting the most food insecure. Close to 1.4 million Palestinians receive food impoverishment and the tendency to resort to negative coping mechanisms.

• Mitigation of negative effects of fragmentation in health, through mobile clinics and in psychosocial support, through 12 mobile teams providing support to 25,000 children (over 7,000 in Gaza alone) and 15,000 caregivers (over 3,000 in Gaza alone).

• In addition, 29 “safe play” areas have now been set up reaching 90,000 children and adolescents. Programmes including support to employment and cash assistance have contributed to maintaining economic and infrastructure activities to a certain extent.

• Job creation programmes will have generated approximately 3,5 million workdays through direct and indirect hire activities by the end of 2005.

• Cash assistance was particularly appropriate for those families (around 11,000 vulnerable families i.e. 82,000 people) unable to sustain participation in even short-term employment programmes;

• Awareness and advocacy on protection issues particularly proactive in health, especially mental health. In psychosocial support, a need is felt to advocate for most vulnerable groups, such as women and improve targeting the emergency needs of acute crisis areas.

Coordination efforts improved information dissemination regarding facts on the ground and to serve various planning and decision-making processes.

2006 Appeal

In continuation with the interventions undertaken in 2005, the Appeal reinforces in 2006 the common analysis and assessment of the emergency needs of the Palestinian population. It aims to ensure their survival and alleviate their suffering as a direct result of the current conflict.

Humanitarian agencies undertook a series of detailed assessments as part of a new assessment process known as the Needs Assessment Framework (NAF).

It aims to better identify needs, prioritise them in consultation with line ministries and other stakeholders into a series of humanitarian actions for 2006.

The humanitarian actions were developed into projects within the emergency sectors of : health, psychosocial support, education, agriculture, food aid, housing and infrastructure, emergency job creation and cash assistance, water and sanitation and co-ordination.

Priority projects were then presented for funding in the CAP.

In 2006 the vexed dilemma noted in all other previous Appeals remains. As the occupying power, Israel has the primary responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to meet the needs of those it occupies. International donors appear increasingly willing to shoulder Israel’s responsibilities and provide assistance directly to Palestinians.

Humanitarian assistance has substituted for selfdevelopment of the Palestinian population led by its Authority. With the current humanitarian situation, the Appeal remains the most effective way to prevent livelihoods collapsing further until political solution is found and capacity is more developed in the PA.

For more information or call Juliette Touma, OCHA, 054-81-555-46

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