• The Gaza strip experienced a series of airstrikes and shelling during the month of August, the most intensive attacks since the ceasefire in August 2014. The violence in the West Bank including East Jerusalem also increased recently. There were more than 250 clashes between Palestinians and Israeli Security Forces (ISF), leaving more than 300 Palestinians and more than 15 Israelis, including a number of ISF personnel, injured. There were more than 15 stabbing incidents reported.
• In September, the UNICEF-supported 'protective presence and accompaniment' resumed, benefiting 4,334 Palestinian children and 333 teachers. This is to provide protection and monitoring support to large numbers of Palestinian school-age children in the West Bank who experience harassment from Israeli settlers and soldiers on their way to and from school, as well as in the school yards and in their classrooms, which can impede their access to education among other negative impacts.
• In Gaza, awareness-raising risk education sessions on explosive remnants of war (ERW) have been delivered to 6,086 children through family centers. The total reached since January is 148,500 children (including through governmental schools) in addition to 9,836 caregivers.
• Wastewater networks were reconstructed in Khan Younis and Rafah, and the Jumizet Al-Sabeel wastewater pumping station was upgraded, benefiting 20,888 persons. A needs assessment was conducted to improve basic water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at household level, and implementation started end September following the selection of beneficiaries.
• Micronutrient supplementation delivered through MOH services to pregnant and lactating mothers, both in the West Bank and Gaza, reached a total of 65,255 mothers and 58, 566 children under five (50% girls).
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In September the UN Secretary-General highlighted the "continued humanitarian deprivations of Gaza's nearly two million residents" and warned that the Gaza Strip is a ticking time bomb and called for a full lifting of movement and access restrictions, an end to illicit arms buildup and militant activities as well as Palestinian unity1.
The situation in Jerusalem continues to simmer although it has calmed in comparison to the last quarter of 2015. The number of grave violations documented, killings and injuries, and attacks on schools has decreased (in part due to the school recess). Arrests and detentions of children remain high: 218 children were arrested in April — July (212 were documented arrested in January— March).
Following the rapid escalation in violence between children and Israeli Security Forces (ISF) in East Jerusalem in October-December 2015, UNICEF undertook a rapid appraisal in five areas (Old City, Silwan, Issawiya, Jabal Mukaber & Shu'fat Refugee Camp). 80 children (61 boys and 19 girls), and 30 caregivers were interviewed and identified key drivers to violence as being priority humanitarian service delivery gaps: in order of priority 1) retaliation and revenge response to alleged humiliation by ISF and settler violence, 2) role of social media in response to witnessed incident(s), 3) act of patriotism and 4) peer pressure and bullying were identified as main drivers within a context characterized by poor domestic conditions, boredom, and lack of playing spaces. The Child Protection Working Group developed a strategic plan for East Jerusalem in light of the recommendations, and steps are underway to finalise and secure funding for implementation. In the H2 area of Hebron, which is under Israeli control, frequent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians have resulted in the isolation of schools and their staff, increasing the need for emergency preparedness as well as provision of psychosocial support to students and teachers.
UNICEF promotes 'resilient development', which means providing children and families with what they need to be better prepared for and better manage crises, and recover from them more rapidly. It requires addressing the underlying drivers of inequity and fragility that cause grave violations, social deprivation and stresses. It also means 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, especially in Gaza, Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. UNICEF provides technical expertise and support in strengthening child protection systems and services, including case management and referrals. Monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children 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, as well as micronutrient supplementation and infant and young child feeding for children and women in Gaza.
Summary Analysis of Programme response
Education and Adolescents
From July to September, the Adolescent Development and Participation programme (ADAP) continued to support adolescents' trainings on social entrepreneurship and life skills and youth-led initiatives. These addressed issues of conflict, violence, and social cohesion, in close cooperation with UNICEF's partner PALvision. In the West Bank, 308 additional adolescents (139 girls and 169 boys) benefitted during the reporting period.
In August, 170 school principals in Gaza gained new skills related to the provision of remedial education for children with low achievement due to the effects of war experiences. As part of emergency preparedness support, UNICEF distributed first aid kits to 200 schools in the West Bank.
Overall progress towards the Education cluster objectives has been limited due to lack of funds for humanitarian education response. Only three cluster projects have been funded, covering only half of the total target beneficiaries, and only a few components of the overall planned response. Fifteen projects have not yet been funded leaving large areas of the cluster response uncovered.
In Gaza, during the third quarter of 2016, the 28 Family Centres run by Ma'an, Tamer, and PCDCR, with guidance and support by UNICEF, reached 1,960 children with structured psychosocial support including both group and individual counselling. Since January, the programme reached 34,381 children (49% females). Additionally, 3,404 children received child protection services inside the family centers in the form of life skills, case management and child/parent interaction programs. Since January, 12,667 children (50% boys), including 2,714 vulnerable children, received case management services. During the reporting period, a total of 7,301 caregivers gained new knowledge and skills related to the protection of their children and positive discipline; since January, 30,365 caregivers were reached (45% male).
Between January and September, members of the MHPSS Working Group and the UNICEF-led Child Protection Working Group in Gaza reached 79,791 children with psychosocial support and counseling services. Over 74,482 children and caregivers received child protection services, in addition to 2,714 children (42% female) who benefitted from case management services.
In the West Bank, the UNICEF-led MHPSS Working Group reached 19,498 children (10,177 boys and 9,321 girls) with structured psychosocial support including individual and group counseling. UNICEF, as chair of the Child Protection Working and Mental Health and PSS Working Group, developed a Child Protection Strategy for East Jerusalem (taking into account findings from the rapid appraisal), Hebron 2, and Area C. The strategy identifies the geographical specific vulnerabilities experienced by vulnerable children and families.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
UNICEF, in collaboration with the INGO ACF, rehabilitated and constructed water networks in the North Jordan Valley and South West Bank benefitting 5,031 people. In the north Jordan Valley, 20 cisterns were rehabilitated, benefiting 183 individuals.
Child Health & Nutrition
UNICEF continued to provide emergency health care supplies to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Gaza, including drugs and medical consumables. A total of 136,269 women and children benefitted during the reporting period. A total of 16,763 women gained new knowledge on breastfeeding and complementary feeding in both primary health facilities and hospitals in Gaza. The micronutrient supplementation delivered through MOH services to pregnant and lactating mothers, in the West Bank and Gaza, reached a total of 65,255 mothers and 58, 566 children under five (50% girls) during the reporting period. A total of 14,237 women and 9,257 children under five (50% are girls) were screened for malnutrition disorders, of which a total of 837 children (more than 60% females) were found malnourished and were treated during the third quarter, with therapeutic food provided by UNICEF.
In the West Bank, medical equipment (including incubators, phototherapy units, transport incubators, and ventilators) were installed at the Salfeet and Yatta neonate units. A minimum of 40 newborns benefit monthly, including 12 at Salfeet and 28 at Yatta hospitals. Over 1,673 children (around 50% girls) received life-saving neonate services during the reporting period.
UNICEF continued capacity building support activities. In Gaza, a total of 284 physicians and nurses (over 50% females) strengthened their skills through preplanned neonatal in-service training and well-baby and mother health services training. In the West Bank, an emergency preparedness training, including first aid and basic life support, benefited a total of 126 community members (over 75% females) during this quarter.
In the WASH sector in the Gaza strip, UNRWA and UNICEF partnered during the UNRWA Summer fun weeks to jointly raise awareness and promote values and aspects of safe handling and utilization of desalinated seawater among children between 5-16 years of age. The target group included UNRWA school parliamentarians in the Khan Younis and Rafah catchment, who will directly benefit from the desalination plant. Additionally, UNICEF and the Coastal Municipal Water Utility developed materials and activities of the campaign designed to promote the adoption of safe handling and water conservation practices, and to raise awareness on consumers' responsibility to pay their bills. UNICEF developed another campaign promoting hygiene and the prevention of water-borne diseases to accompany the distribution of hygiene items to vulnerable families as part of the joint UNICEF-WFP e-voucher programme in Gaza. Preparations are also underway for a campaign encouraging girls' participation in sport activities as part of the adolescent programme in Gaza.
Supply and Logistics
All necessary preparations have been completed to procure locally the appropriate sanitation and potable water facilities to fit four Designated Emergency Shelters for internally displaced persons as part of emergency preparedness. Long term arrangements have been established for the provision and delivery of hygiene kits with Gaza based suppliers. The controls and restrictions on the importation of supplies remain one of the key challenges in the supply chain delivery. Approvals from the relevant authorities take longer time for supplies perceived to be susceptible for dual use. The long awaited donation approval of six water tankering trucks for humanitarian assistance in Gaza was obtained from the Israeli customs directorate and the trucks are being prepared in the West Bank for final inspection and delivery to Gaza.
* 'Delivered' defined as 'left the UNICEF warehouse'. Does not include items delivered directly to partners.
Media and External Communication
The impact of the conflict on children continued to be one of the main focus of advocacy. Briefings were organized and content produced on the issues of arrest and detention of children in East Jerusalem, with a focus on recent amendments of the legislation; on education-related violations; on water shortages in Area C of the West Bank and in Gaza; on demolitions; on child labour; and on adolescent participation. The "State of the World's Children" report was launched in Ramallah. Joint work was conducted with the HCT to mark the two-year anniversary of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza and Israel. A visit to a school in a vulnerable Bedouin community was organized to mark the start of the new academic year. UNICEF received two delegations of Japanese and French members of Parliament who went on field trips and were briefed about the situation of Palestinian children and their needs.
This summer UNICEF Palestine ran a social media campaign to shed light on what Palestinian students want for their schools. It featured portraits of children drawing and discussing what they miss in the classroom.
"My classroom is very crowded. We share the same desk with another student. Sometimes three students sit at the same desk. I wish every student had her own desk, where we could keep our things and sit comfortably,” said 12-year-old Qamar, pictured here. Many students spoke of the lack of airflow and heaters in classrooms; of the damaged furniture and blackboards; of the lack of a library, a computer or a science lab; and of the lack of adequate playgrounds and recreational areas. The students’ views were integrated into the child-friendly reconstruction and rehabilitation process of Gaza schools supported by UNICEF as part of a joint project with UNDP.
The Gaza strip experienced a series of airstrikes and shelling during the month of August, the most intensive attacks since the ceasefire in August 2014. The violence in the West Bank including East Jerusalem also increased recently. There were more than 250 clashes between Palestinians and Israeli Security Forces leaving more than 300 Palestinians and more than 15 Israelis, including a number of ISF personnel, injured. There were also more than 15 stabbing incidents reported. Israeli and Palestinian security forces continued efforts to maintain the situation under control while continuously facing challenges. The security level remained unchanged (low in Jerusalem and Israel, moderate in West Bank and substantial in Gaza).
Funding as of 10 October 2016.
* Funds available includes funding received for the current appeal year as well as the carry-forward from the previous year.
Total carry forward amount from the previous year: 12,149,704
Next Sit Rep: 16/01/2017
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