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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 December 2006






occupied Palestinian territory

>> Context

Since the beginning of 2006, political, economic and social conditions have deteriorated sharply for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). In 2006, 678 Palestinians and 25 Israelis were killed and 3,199 Palestinians and 377 Israelis were injured in the conflict.

Palestinian property and public infrastructure were targeted by the Israeli military. In the second half of 2006, the continued political instability and isolation of the Gaza Strip led to a surge in internal Palestinian violence in the form of armed clashes, kidnappings and destruction of property.

There were increasing restrictions on the movement of people and goods out of the Gaza Strip, between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and within the West Bank. The targets set in the November 2005 Agreement of Movement and Access were not fully realized. Palestinian movement within the West Bank continued to be restricted by a combination of physical blocks and military checkpoints, the permits regime and the construction of the Barrier.

Following the victory of the Hamas party in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006, three quarters of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) monthly operating budget was either suspended or cancelled by the international community, Palestinian tax revenues were withheld by the Government of Israel. This financial and institutional crisis seriously undermined the functioning of PA institutions, leading to significant disruptions in the provision of continuous and sustainable public services.

>> Objectives

• Improve operational coordination between key humanitarian agencies and sector groups, through common analysis and priority actions at the central and local levels (between governorates, municipalities and humanitarian actors).

• Coordinate advocacy and outreach on behalf of vulnerable populations affected by the emergency.

• Improve access to target areas and populations in need using information management.

• Coordinate the humanitarian policy used by the international community in oPt.

>> Activities and accomplishments

The cornerstone of OCHA’s coordination work was the preparation of the United Nations’ CAP and the Needs Analysis Framework (NAF). The emergency work of all operational United Nations agencies was coordinated through the CAP, and as part of that process OCHA was involved in a wide range of other coordination activities – both sectoral and across the spectrum of actors including donors, United Nations agencies and NGOs. Regular coordination mechanisms were organized involving these actors as well as key local authority figures.

Maps and analysis were provided through a range of services and products designed to inform policy-makers and help aid organizations make operational decisions.

Humanitarian information was disseminated to advocate on behalf of vulnerable populations affected by the emergency.

OCHA provided support to the humanitarian CT which comprises humanitarian United Nations agencies and key humanitarian NGOs. The group worked
together on a monthly basis to discuss and review the humanitarian situation and highlight key issues to the donor community. OCHA was the main provider of
information on policy recommendations to the group, and it was instrumental in ensuring that the team’s decisions were implemented. OCHA was also an active member of the European Union (EU) Friday group, a meeting of EU country representatives.

Informed by its monitoring of the situation on the ground, OCHA produced the quarterly Barrier monitoring reports and made them available to the donor community. OCHA produced a bi-weekly report on adherence to the Access and Monitoring Agreement. A weekly briefing note on the protection of civilians was published, as well as a monthly review of the humanitarian situation in a report titled ‘The Humanitarian Monitor’. Improved information products, including maps, were enhanced through careful information management ensuring more systematic and reliable collection, storage and use of information.

OCHA’s newly launched website was a primary source of information for broad audiences, including operational humanitarian partners.

>> Performance evaluation

• The CAP 2006 was launched against a positive-looking background and the potential disengagement of OCHA, but with the boycott of the PA at the start
of the year the situation became significantly worse. OCHA’s initial appeal for US$ 215 million in 2006 was revised in May to US$ 394 million. OCHA coordinated efforts with United Nations agencies and 12 NGOs to produce the CAP, to which 20 donors contributed. US$ 274 million was committed, which met 69 per cent of requirements. Four United Nations agencies (UNRWA, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO) submitted requests to the CERF totalling over US$ 5 million for emergency projects following Israeli military incursions in Beit Hanoun and northern areas of the Gaza Strip in October 2006.

• OCHA established interaction with the Temporary International Mechanism, which was put in place in June 2006 under the leadership of the European
Commission, regarding the humanitarian situation and access.

• The United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Advocacy Group was set up by OCHA in an effort to improve the outreach and effectiveness of the United
Nations. Effective advocacy meant that many issues were addressed – for example, through joint United Nations statements and by organizing field tours to
vulnerable areas for donors and the press.


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