The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision ECHO/WWD/BUD/2016/01000
AMOUNT: 25 000 000 EUR
The Government of Israel's (GoI) occupation policy and the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) have resulted in a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian consequences for the Palestinian population. The crisis mainly derives from prolonged occupation and recurrent violations of International Humanitarian Law (11-1L) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) such as advancement of settlement activities. The European Union has in numerous Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions reiterated that settlements, the separation barrier, demolition of homes and evictions of Palestinian people or communities are illegal under international law.
In the past year, the humanitarian operating space seriously shrunk, with ECHO Partners encountering increasing difficulties in delivering humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as reflected in the use of demolitions and confiscation of assets incidents.2
In 2014, Israel demolished 496 Palestinian structures in Area C, nearly a quarter of which were aid items provided by international donors3. Frequent impediments for access of humanitarian workers and relief assistance to Gaza were also witnessed throughout 2015. There have been 678 crossings for International Organisations as of 30th September 2015 compared to 5 783 in 20144 while only 25-30% of the ABC construction material entered Gaza in October 2015.5 The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are considered illegal under International Law6, has contributed to an increase in demolitions of private Palestinian property, an increase in settler violence and intimidation, and an increase in restrictions on movement and access. This has led to a deterioration of access to basic services and precarious living conditions for Palestinians Such a coercive environment has undermined their livelihoods and security and has increased their socioeconomic vulnerabilities and risk of forcible displacement. Also, the recent trend in mass community demolitions, rather than single households, and the change in legal modalities imposed by the GoI that speed up the process of demolitions, have increased the concerns of the humanitarian and international community regarding the imminent threat of large scale displacement of already vulnerable communities and the erosion of their protection.
Prospects for resilience building and development in the West Bank have been hindered by the limited possibilities of the Palestinian Authorities to invest in Area C under the Oslo Agreement and the existing restrictive planning and zoning regime imposed by the GoI. This regime facilitates the development of illegal Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinians, for whom it is virtually impossible to build or develop their land in Area C.
The Gaza Strip has suffered three wars in eight years. In the meantime, the collective punishment of the civilian population continues for the eighth year in a row due to the blockade imposed by the GoI, which is in breach of its obligation under IHL. This blockade translates into a situation of continuous economic de-development and increased vulnerability of the population. Unless normal movement of people and goods is allowed to resume, there will be no fundemental change in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.7
Periodic shocks and repeated cycles of violence spark off humanitarian crises, as seen during Israel's `Protective Edge' military operation (7 July - 26 August 2014)3 the fourth conflict in ten years' time, where at least 2 100 Palestinians were killed, of whom 500 were children, and unprecedented damages to public and private infrastructure and the general socio-economic situation.
In Gaza, any development prospects have been seriously hampered by the blockade and the limited imports and exports that could support the reconstruction and development of the Strip. Regular demolitions of donor-funded infrastructure during conflicts has contributed to the reluctance of donors to invest in Gaza, pending an agreement on permanent issues such as accountability of parties to the conflict to protect social and economic infrastructure and increased movemement of goods and people.
While ECHO's Integrated Analysis Framework for 2015-2016 identified low humanitarian needs for the West Bank and moderate humanitarian needs for Gaza,the vulnerability of the population affected by the crisis is assessed to be high in Gaza and low in the West Bank. The Vulnerability Index is 6.9 (10 being the highest).8
2. HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
1) Affected people/potential beneficiaries: Palestinians affected by IHL violations.
- Potential vulnerable categories of Gaza's population that could be exposed to protection threats, including fishermen and small farmers working in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) and permissible fishing areas. Access and rehabilitation to agricultural lands are seriously compounded by remnants of war and the demolitions of agricultural assets (roads, wells, greenhouses...) resulting in an unprecedented decrease of livelihood opportunities in rural areas.
- 300 000 Palestinians12 living in Area C of the West Bank, specifically communities having difficulty accessing their land because of settler violence and the expansion of settlements; communities affected by (or at risk of) demolition and confiscation of private property and whose livelihoods are at risk; this includes the communities at risk of forcible transfer including the 7 000 Palestinian Bedouins13 in the Jerusalem Periphery, the El block, as well as the residents in Southern Hebron, and the 6 200 Palestinians14 residing in areas designated as "firing zones" (closed military zones for training). Throughout 2015, ECHO partners have increased their capacities to target the most vulnerable communities and households factoring in socio-economic and protection related vulnerabilities.
- The 11 000 Palestinians15 living in Seam Zone (land area in the West Bank between Israel's separation barrier and the 1 967 Green Line) which are cut off from public services and are impeded in accessing land and property.
- The 298 000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, notably the 93 100 at risk of house demolition and evictions, and families at risk of forcible transfer who will also lose their livelihoods16.
The prolonged and entrenched nature of the Israeli occupation has resulted in the denial of the most basic rights of the Palestinian people. There are clear humanitarian needs resulting from the socioeconomic vulnerability of the population and the lack of protection. Although all parties to the conflict are bound by international law, violations of IHL include the complete blockade on the Gaza Strip for the ninth year in a row and the cyclical shocks resulting from military escalations, the expansion of settlements through destruction and confiscation of property, restrictions on movement, and exploitation of natural resources. These violations contribute to a coercive environment and progressive isolation and the forcible transfer of the Palestinian population, in breach of the Geneva Conventions.17
The civilian population in the Gaza Strip-continues to be subject to a collective punishment due to the all-out blockade by Israel on access and movement. This has had serious social and humanitarian consequences for many of its 1.8 million inhabitants. The high population density puts great pressure on the poor infrastructure. The situation has deteriorated further in recent months as a result of the closure of the majority of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza and the latest military operation (the 3rd and most devastating shock in 8 years). Before the latest military escalation, Gaza was already facing a decline across all aspects of life with power outages across Gaza up to six hours a day, resulting in the closure of sewage pumping operations and reduced access to clean water. Gaza was also suffering from a reduction in medical supplies and equipment, cessation of imports of construction materials, rising unemployment, and lack of access to livelihoods especially in the ARA. The latest military intervention exacerbated an already precarious situation. The gradual impoverishment of the average Gazan household is due to a steady loss of coping mechanisms coupled with a reduction in essential services. The population is now more vulnerable if there were to be any further rise in violence.18
In the West Bank, the Palestinian population is suffering from progressive fragmentation and isolation, which is linked to their vulnerability in terms of socio-economic status and their exposure to protection threats. This can be attributed to the ongoing seizure of Palestinian land, including Palestinian farming land and water resources. The Palestinian population in Area C and East Jerusalem (about half a million) are subject to economic deprivation with severely limited access to basic services (water, food, health, schooling) due to a multi-layer Israeli system of restrictions and obstacles; the population is increasingly subjected to displacement and dispossession of their land and housing through forced evictions and home demolitions.19 The 1215 people displaced in 2014 due to demolitions are the highest recorded in a single year by OCHA20. To date, 551 people have been displaced in 2015.
Rapid advancement of plans by the GoI to transfer Palestinian Bedouins from their communities to other locations has become a grave concern since the GoI started to accelerate the implementation of relocation plans early 2015. These plans are likely to lead to large-scale forcible transfer of Bedouins (e.g. in the Susya and Abu Nwar communities). This is coupled with an increase in demolitions throughout 2015. Comparing the number of demolished structures between 2014 and 2015 (Jan-May); 239 structures were demolished — of which 41 are EU funded, already in the first five months of 2015, whereas 601 structures were demolished throughout 2014, of which 49 were EU funded.
3. HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE
- An Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (2 years), presented at the International Donor Conference, which took place in Cairo on 12 October 2014.
The scope of the 2015 SRP remains broad, and still focuses on social safety nets that do not allow for an assessment of the protection dimension of the crisis in Palestine. The Socio Economic and Food Security Survey (SEFSec), one of the main assessment tools used by the SRP, and the Poverty Assessment System (PAS) method of UNRWA, are the main methods used to capture key rates and trends while providing limited analysis on the protection elements which are needed to inform adequate humanitarian programming for the Palestinian crisis. Moreover, a 2014 internal technical review21 of the assessment tools highlighted the inadequacy of the SEFSec in correctly measuring food insecurity rates.
During the past years, the humanitarian space has shrunk with increasing difficulties faced by humanitarian organisations, including ECHO partners, in delivering humanitarian assistance. The provision of humanitarian assistance by humanitarian actors working in Area C communities could be subject to criminal prosecution by the GoI, according to recent Israeli policy.22 This development could pose an additional significant risk to the international community's provision of humanitarian assistance to Area C communities.
Israeli Authorities are increasingly hindering access of humanitarian actors in and out of the Gaza Strip through denial of permits and detention of humanitarian aid staff. Following increased needs due to the July August 2014 escalation, the access of humanitarian staff as well as relief materials will be one of the crucial bottlenecks to be addressed with the Israeli authorities in order to ensure an efficient humanitarian repsonse in Gaza. In case access impediments asremain, this will directly affect the expected standards of implementation and follow up of ECHO projects.
The planning and zoning regime in the West Bank as well as the blockade on Gaza will remain major obstacles in order to build strategies promoting increased resilience (not to mention development) for the affected population. In Area C of the West bank, the risk of criminalizing development assistance (as it is already the case for the demolished humanitarian assistance) will most probably refrain major development actors from investing in those communities most at risk of forcible transfer. The potential of further destruction of development funded infrastrcture in Gaza may also explain part of the reluctancy of donors to engage..
The current coordination system in the West Bank is still not adequately equipped to prioritise and address the most prominent protection issues. In Gaza, the humanitarian coordination system needs to be further developed in view of more accurately identifying the humanitarian needs and reinforcing the response capacity. In 2016, improved information management capacities, technical tools and technical expertise should allow for improved assessments and M&E capacities.
Envisaged ECHO response:
ECHO's strategy in Palestine will continue to focus on protection, emergency preparedness and response, and humanitarian advocacy. ECHO partners are expected to provide humanitarian assistance on needs-based evidence aimed at ensuring protection against violations of IHL and possibly preventing violations from happening, under the overall framework of IHL.
Given the shift of ECHO's strategy in Palestine since 2011 from classical recurrent service delivery to focus on humanitarian protection and emergency concerns, social sector support will generally not be considered under this HIP.
Strategic partnerships are essential and will continue to be sought with ECHO partners who have the capacities and the mandate to consolidate efforts - inter alia in the form of consortia - to scale up emergency response activities— as it has been done under the HIP 2015.
In the Gaza Strip, ECHO will continue to focus its interventions on "emergency preparedness and response" to the recurrent shocks affecting segments of the population that are suffering from humanitarian consequences of the violations of IHL. Lessons learnt exercises following the response to Protective Edge should better inform future operations. This will allow to better define the context of intervention in time of crisis: restricted access and movement to and within the Strip, challenging security environment, few actors maintaining real operational capacities during the conflict, major violations of II-IL by Parties to the conflict.
The response to humanitarian needs resulting from Operation Protective Edge should address the most urgent needs in terms of access to emergency shelter, water and sanitation, health and protection targeting the most vulnerable people in Gaza.
ECHO will increase its support to those partners who have proven effective capacity to respond to emergency WASH needs (essential repair, rehabilitation, operation and maintenance) at municipal and community levels. ECHO partners are requested to constantly monitor the situation in Gaza while strengthening readiness to respond to possible emergencies together with national bodies like the Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and the Palestinian Water Authorities (PWA).
ECHO-funded health interventions will be geared towards "emergency medical services" through the support of the ICRC operation aiming at enhancing health emergency preparedness and response.
ECHO will continue to prioritize alternatives to in-kind food aid, while encouraging other donors to address the structural/chronic food insecurity resulting from the blockade. According to ECHO, cash and vouchers-based interventions are feasible in Gaza as it is already implemented successfully by some partners. They confirm that despite the strangled economy in Gaza food is available on the market. This modality would increase the range of possibilities available to humanitarian organisation in emergencies as well as promoting more dignity and empowerment of the affected population in the delivery of assistance. In terms of preparedness, ECHO strategy aims at: 1) increasing capacities to respond to new emergencies by developing innovative tools and systems (e.g. cash assistance, vouchers, e-wallet etc.) 2) promoting effective contingency planning/preparedness and 3) increasing the coordination capacity of lead agencies (including UN, national NGOs, local authorities).
In the West Bank, the ECHO strategy will be implemented by reinforcing response to demolitions, preventive measures against destructions of Palestinian assets and increased resilience to 11-1L violations by providing targeted legal and material assistance communities most vulnerable to protection issues such as settler violence and forcible displacement. This will be implemented in full respect of the humanitarian principles and in line with the Humanitarian Imperative.
The emergency response mechanism in the West Bank follows a comprehensive approach based on needs and clear socio-economic and protection-related vulnerability criteria. The response should aim at improving community targeting in addition to response at household level, ensuring the involvement of other stakeholders on resilience and a community-based protection mechanism which should lead to the transfer of some pillars of the envisaged operation to other better suited donors.
Humanitarian advocacy remains a pre-condition for ECHO partners in Palestine: the causes of the ongoing deterioration of the humanitarian situation can only be addressed through effective advocacy, by calling all parties to the respect of 11-1L. To ensure the effectiveness of proposed interventions, partners are expected to integrate a strong advocacy strategy in their action that aims at strengthening accountability of the humanitarian system at all levels.
Partners will be expected to ensure full compliance with visibility requirements in accordance with the applicable contractual arrangement as well as with specific visibility requirements agreed-upon in the Single Form, forming an integral part of individual agreements. In particular, this includes prominent display of the EU humanitarian aid visual identity on EU funded project sites, relief items and equipment and the acknowledgement of the funding role of and the partnership with the EU/ECHO through activities such as media outreach and digital communication. Further explanation of visibility requirements can be consulted on the dedicated visibility site.23
A stronger engagement with local actors (inter alia municipalities) will be encouraged by ECHO in 2016 in order to reinforce emergency preparedness capacities. Effective coordination is essential: ECHO supports the Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Transformative Agenda (ITA) and encourages partners to demonstrate their engagement in implementing its objectives, to take part in coordination mechanisms (e.g. Humanitarian Country Team/Clusters) and to allocate resources to foster the ITA roll-out.
Education in emergencies:
ECHO will provide further support to meet the mounting needs of children in conflict affected contexts that are out of school or risk education disruption. Within this HIP project addressing education and child protection will be funded. ECHO will favour education in emergency projects in areas where the % of out-of-school children is particularly high, there are grave child protection concerns and where other sources of funding available are limited. Complementarity and synergies with other EU services and funding instruments will be sought. In addition, complementarity and synergies with funding provided by the Global Partnership for Education is encouraged.
Expected results of humanitarian aid interventions:
Humanitarian assistance in Palestine is expected to address needs arising from violations of 11-IL and improve resilience to these violations, provide evidence-based advocacy through quality programming and promoting humanitarian advocacy which addresses IHL violations as the root cause of the humanitarian needs.
As nit violations constitute the main trigger for humanitarian needs in other sectors, partners should ensure that the context analysis takes into account threats in addition to vulnerabilities and capacities. The analysis should bring out both external threats to the target population as well as the population's coping strategies adopted to counteract the vulnerabilities (enhancing community targeting in addition to enhancing targeting at household level with the aim of balancing the analysis between systematic response to IHL violations and socio-economic vulnerability criteria). Based on this analysis ECHO expects partners to design integrated programme responses, where protection actions will address needs in other sectors and where other sector actions will mitigate or increase resilience to protection risks. These responses must thus demonstrate how risks are reduced by reducing the threats and vulnerabilities but also by increasing resilience.
In Gaza, the humanitarian response to the humanitarian needs caused by the July 2014 military escalation should be designed with the aim to avoid increased dependency of beneficiaries to humanitarian short-term delivery system. As far as emergency housing solution is concerned, every effort should be made to ensure full participation of targeted community in the design of the most appropriate response, systematic inclusion of public/private basic services (such as CMWU for WASH services) and a multi-sectorial approach to each specific local situation.
In the West Bank, a consolidated and systematic humanitarian response mechanism to demolitions under the inter-cluster framework that is transparent, coherent, accountable, cost-effective and reactive will continue under the framework of the current consortium with a guaranteed level of harmonisation between the consortia members and other stakeholders involved in the response to demolitions. The nature of the response should be based on existing vulnerabilities, needs and risks, and remain flexible against overly bureaucratic structures and rigid assessment tools. A focus on advocacy and messaging in parallel with contingency planning for the swift delivery of assistance is fundamental.
Increased scrutiny (i.e. risk/legal analysis) should promote "do no harm" in the delivery of assistance in order to ensure the safety and protection of beneficiaries rather than being counter protective and exposing them to further risk or danger.
4. LRRD, COORDINATION AND TRANSITION
1) Other ECHO interventions
In case of natural disasters or epidemics and according to the needs, other humanitarian actions could be financed either through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) or under the HIP for small scale humanitarian response or the HIP for epidemics.
2) Other services/donors availability (such as for LRRD and transition)
During the last five years, the steady decrease of EU humanitarian funding to Palestine corresponds to a re-focus towards more support to protection of the people affected by nit violations (demolitions, eviction, the blockade, settlers' violence) and humanitarian advocacy, while transferring classical basic service delivery to development instruments. Prolonged occupation constitutes a strong challenge in promoting LRRD and the transition to development. Despite these constraints, ECHO encourages partners to present interventions that link the proposed interventions with development projects funded by other donors. Such an approach from the partners will further strengthen ECHO's efforts in trying to overcome the isolation in which humanitarian assistance is delivered in Area C of the West Bank.
Close collaboration with other Commission services and Member States will be sought in order to promote a transfer of some ECHO funded projects to more structural and sustainable funding mechanisms.
In Area C of the West Bank, ECHO has pursued a joined up approach with Member States in response to the above mentioned IHL violations. The EU Heads of Mission report on Area C and Palestinian State Building from July 2011 proposed a rationale for EU interventions in Area C while shifting the general approach from a purely humanitarian response to longer-term and development—oriented activities. The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of May 2012 put forward a comprehensive EU policy for Area C. It insisted on the needs to support social and economic developments in Area C and to improve access and control by the PA over Area C. The FAC of July 2015 reiterated the EU's strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation - including of EU funded projects - evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts, settler violence and restrictions of movement and access. These most recent FAC conclusions also identified the grave humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip as an immediate priority.
EU current programming takes all the above into consideration. The Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) supports the Palestinian communities in Area C in the development of statutory outline plans and investment plans for small scale infrastructure projects. DG NEAR also funds infrastructure projects identified by the communities as priority interventions. Moreover, DG NEAR supports Palestinian agro-businesses in Area C to enhance the access to and the utilisation of land and water with the aim to support agriculture growth and profitability. The EU and MS set up a comprehensive system of monitoring of demolitions, threat of demolitions, stop working orders by Israeli authorities affecting their financed projects. Through DG NEAR's contribution (€ 82 million) to UNRWA's 2015 General Fund, the EU also supports the delivery of essential public services to Palestinian refugees in the areas of health, education, and social services provided across UNRWA's five fields of operation (in Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon). A top-up of €20 million is currently in the process of approval.
The necessary political support to encourage actions in East Jerusalem has been regularly reiterated in EU Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process since 2010. Increased support is being provided from DG NEAR to sustain and develop the living conditions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, with the aim to prevent the population from being further coerced into leaving the city, thus pre-empting possibilities for future talks on the final status of East Jerusalem. Within EU current programming interventions are/will be supported annually in the frame of a multi-sectoral non-focal sector. This includes interventions in sectors such as legal assistance, disability, socio-economic development and empowerment of vulnerable groups, protection and promotion of cultural identity.
The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) supports several programmes aimed at stabilisation in Gaza. Through UNRWA, IcSP supports the Job Creation Programme (€19 3 million and an additional €3 million in the approval process) and a psychosocial support (€5.2 million). Through the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the IcSP contributes at reducing the threat of explosive hazards (€0.8 million, starting shortly). Finally there is also a new IcSP programme with the World Health Organization (WHO) (€5 million) currently in the approval process which will address the mental health emergency response in Gaza.
Additionally, actions supporting the protection and promotion of human rights and the socio-economic development of vulnerable groups are being implemented under the European Instrument for democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Civil Society Thematic programme.
3) Exit scenario
While full transition to development assistance will only be possible when IHL is fully respected in Palestine, long-term chronic vulnerabilities need to be addressed by development actors pending a just and comprehensive resolution of the conflict. Humanitarian aid however remains essential in addressing needs and vulnerability resulting from the policies and practices linked to the occupation and improving access of the population to basic services during emergencies by supporting local structures and by developing emergency response capacities.
Electronically signed on 30/11/2015 14:26 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563
1 This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue
2 Since 2009, over 600 structures amounting to over € 2 million worth of ECHO humanitarian aid are reportedly under threat of confiscation/demolition. Another 130 structures amounting to approximately €200 000 have already been confiscated/demolished
3 UNOCHA online demolition database: http://www.ochaopt.org/demolition-sys.aspx
4 OCHA Erez crossing report : movement of people into and out of Gaza : http://www.ochaopt.org/gazacrossing/index.aspx7id=1
5 Shelter Cluster Palestine — Construction Material Tracking for Gaza — October 2015
6 Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the MEPP (July 2015): http://wv,rw.consilitun.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/07/20-fac-mepp-conclusions/
7 The EU calls for a fundamental change of the political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, including the end of the closure and a full opening of the crossing points, while addressing Israel's legitimate security concerns: Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the MEPP (July 2015): http://wv,rw.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/07/20-fac-mepp-conclusions/
9 PCBS, Demographic and Population Statistics, July-September 2013
10 Source Shelter cluster
12 Area C of the West Bank: Key humanitarian concerns, UNOCHA — Update August 2014
13 UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin Monthly Report, April 2015
14 UNOCHA Fragmented Lives. Humanitarian Overview 2014, March 2015
15 UNOCHA, The Humanitarian Impact of the Bather, Fact sheet July 2013
16 East Jerusalem; key Humanitarian Concerns, UNOCHA, Update August 2014
17 Rule of Law: A Veil of Compliance in Israel and the oPt 2010-2013 - Diakonia
18 Gaza under pressure — ICRC — April 2014. http://blogs.icrc.org/ilot/2014/04/13/gaza-under-pressure-gazans-require-much-improved-access-to-essential-supplies/
19 UNOCHA — May 2015 — Joint UNOCHA / UNRWA press release.
20 UNOCHA Fragmented Lives. Humanitarian Overview 2014, March 2015
21 Review of Palestine SEFSec Food Security Analysis Methodology, TANGO International Inc, March 2014
22 West Bank Demolition and Displacement: An overview — UN OCHA — May 2014.
FINANCIAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONAL INFORMATION
The activities proposed hereafter are subject to any terms and conditions which may be included in the related Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP).
3. PROPOSAL ASSESSMENT
3.1. Administrative info
Assessment round 1
a) Indicative amount: up to EUR 25 000 000 (subject to the availability of payment appropriations, the amount awarded may be lower than the overall indicative amount or be spread over time. More information will be available upon adoption of the general budget of the European Union for the year 2016).
b) Description of the humanitarian aid interventions relating to this assessment round: all interventions as described in section 3.4 of the HIP
c) Costs will be eligible from 01/01/2016.1 Actions will start from 01/01/2016
d) The expected initial duration for the Action is up to 12 months
e) Potential partners: All ECHO Partners
f) Information to be provided: Single Form2
g) Indicative date for receipt of the above requested information: 07/12/20153
3.2. Operational requirements:
3.2.1. Assessment criteria:
The assessment of proposals will look at:
• The compliance with the proposed strategy (HIP) and the operational requirements described in this section;
• Commonly used principles such as: quality of the needs assessment and of the logical framework, relevance of the intervention and coverage, feasibility, applicant's implementation capacity and knowledge of the country/region.
• In case of actions already being implemented on the ground, where ECHO is requested to fund a continuation, a visit of the ongoing action may be conducted to determine the feasibility and quality of the Action proposed
3.2.2. Operational guidelines:
The EU resilience communication and Action Plan
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/media/publications/tpd04 nutrition addressing_undernutrit ion_in_emergencies_en.pdf
Cash and vouchers
Children in Conflict
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/policies/sectoral/children_2008_Emergency_Crisis_Situati ons en.pdf
Water sanitation and hygiene http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/policies/sectoral/WASH_policy doc en.pdf
Disaster Risk Reduction
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/policies/prevention_preparedness/DRR thematic_policy d oc.pdf
http://www. echo-visibility. eu/
Partners will be expected to ensure full compliance with visibility requirements and to acknowledge the funding role of and partnership with the EU/ECHO, as set out in the applicable contractual arrangements, namely the following:
• The communication and visibility articles of the General Conditions annexed to the Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) concluded with nongovernmental organizations or international organizations or in the General Conditions for Delegation Agreements concluded in the framework of the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA) with the UN.
• Specific visibility requirements agreed-upon in the Single Form, forming an integral part of individual agreements:
• Section 9.1.B, Standard visibility recognizing the EU funding through activities such as media outreach, social media engagement and provision of photos stories and blogs; every partner is expected to choose at least 4 out of 7 requirements. If no requirements are selected, a project-specific derogation based on security concerns is needed.
Further explanation of visibility requirements and reporting as well as best practices and examples can be consulted on the dedicated ECHO visibility site: http://www.echo-visibility.eu/.
Education in Emergencies
ECHO will support education activities that enable children's access to quality education4 in ongoing conflicts, complex emergencies and early recovery phases. Furthermore, it may support longer-term educational activities in protracted crises and in refugee/IDP camps Innovative solutions will particularly be supported. Actions targeting transition to formal education systems in preparation for a development intervention may also be supported.
It is essential that education activities are carried out in close connection with protection programs. It is vital to ensure that children can access education where they feel safe and protected. Therefore, education in emergencies activities under this HIP could also include psychosocial support; mine risk education and provision of life-skills, such as vital health, nutrition and hygiene information, HIV prevention, sexual- and reproductive health information and DRR training and awareness.
Education activities could entail enabling access to education for children currently out of school, but also strengthening the quality aspects of education in emergencies, including the recruitment and capacity building of teachers. To reduce the vulnerability of children affected by conflict, actions in the field of education in emergencies and especially conflict situations, should reflect protection, relevant legal frameworks (International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law and Refugee Law), education in mediation and conflict resolution, child protection (with special attention to vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied minors and former child soldiers), community-based educational activities and the promotion of peaceful reconciliation. Hence, education projects funded under this HIP could include components of child protection and peace education (i.e. mediation, conflict resolution, etc.).
In order to ensure holistic response, linking education to other life-saving humanitarian sectors, such as WASH and health could also be considered.
Activities shall be tailored to take into account the different needs of children based on their age, gender and other specific circumstances.
Coordination is essential and all education in emergencies projects need to coordinate and support the priorities set by relevant humanitarian and if appropriate development governance mechanisms (e.g. Global Education Cluster, Refugee Working Groups, communities of practices, Local Education Groups), as well as national structures (e.g. Ministry of Education).
All actions funded on education in emergencies should in their design adhere to the INEE Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery, as well as the IASC Minimum Standards for Child Protection.
A set of overall principles needs to guide every operation supported by ECHO.
The humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, in line with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, and strict adherence to a "do no harm" approach remain paramount.
The safe and secure provision of aid: the ability to safely deliver assistance to all areas must be preserved. ECHO requests its partners to include in the project proposal details on how safety and security of staff (including the staff of implementing partners) and assets is being considered as well as an analysis of threats and plans to mitigate and limit exposure to risks. ECHO or its partners can request the suspension of ongoing actions as a result of serious threats to the safety of staff.
Accountability: partners remain accountable for their operations, in particular:
• The identification of the beneficiaries and of their needs using, for example, baseline surveys, KAP-surveys, Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) or beneficiary profiling;
• Management and monitoring of operations, and having adequate systems in place to facilitate this;
• Reporting on activities and outcomes, and the associated capacities to collect and analyse information;
• Identification and analysis of logistic and access constraints and risks, and the steps taken to address them.
Gender-Age Mainstreaming: Ensuring gender-age mainstreaming is of paramount importance to ECHO, since it is an issue of quality programming. Gender and age matter in humanitarian aid because women, girls, boys, men and elderly women and men are affected by crises in different ways. Thus, the assistance needs to be adapted to their specific needs - otherwise it risks being off-target, failing its objectives or even doing harm to beneficiaries. It is also a matter of compliance with the EU humanitarian mandate and the humanitarian principles, in line with international conventions and commitments. All project proposals/reports must demonstrate integration of gender and age in a coherent manner throughout the Single Form, including in the needs assessment and risk analysis, the logical framework, description of activities and the gender-age marker section. The Gender-Age Marker is a tool that uses four criteria to assess how strongly ECHO funded humanitarian actions integrates gender and age consideration. For more information about the marker and how it is applied please consult the Gender-Age Marker Toolkit
Protection: Mainstreaming of basic protection principles in traditional assistance programmes is of paramount importance to ECHO. This approach is closely linked to the principle of 'do no harm', and also extends the commitment of safe and equal access to assistance as well as the need for special measures to ensure access for particularly vulnerable groups. All proposals MUST demonstrate integration of these principles, but also in its substantive sections, i.e. the logical framework, result and activity descriptions, etc.
Integration of protection concerns should, in particular, be reflected in any actions implemented in a displacement- hosting context (be it refugees or IDPs), in situations of conflict or in contexts where social exclusion is a known factor, where considerations on inter-communal relationships are of utmost importance for the protection of the affected population. In such contexts, proposals must present a clear analysis of how threats against as well as vulnerabilities and capacities of the affected population impact their protection, and how this is incorporated in the response.
While humanitarian assistance often focuses on community-level interventions, it is important to remember that, in order to fully address many protection issues, it is also necessary to consider the relevance and feasibility of advocacy (structural level) interventions aimed at (a) stopping the violations by perpetrators and/or (b) convincing the duty-bearers to fulfil their responsibilities.
Do no harm: Partners should ensure that the context analysis takes into account threats in addition to vulnerabilities and capacities of affected populations. The analysis should bring out both external threats to the target population as well as the coping strategies adopted to counteract the vulnerabilities. The risk equation model provides a useful tool to conduct this analysis. The model stipulates that Risks equals Threats multiplied by Vulnerabilities divided by Capacities, and the way to reduce risks is by reducing the threats and vulnerabilities and increasing the capacities. Depending on the type of threat faced by the population in question, reducing it can be anything from possible/straightforward to impossible/dangerous. In the latter case, one will resort to focusing on vulnerabilities and capacities, but the fact that the analysis has acknowledged the threat will contribute to ensuring that the response subsequently selected does not exacerbate the population's exposure to the risk.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): As part of the commitment of ECHO to mainstream disaster risk reduction in its humanitarian operations, the needs assessment presented in the Single Form should reflect, whenever relevant, the exposure to natural hazards and the related vulnerability of the targeted population and their livelihoods and assets. This analysis should also assess the likely impact of the humanitarian intervention on both immediate and future risks as well as the partner's institutional commitment to and operational capability in managing risk (technical competence in the relevant sectors of intervention. The DRR approach and related measures are relevant in all humanitarian sectors (WASH, nutrition, food assistance and livelihoods, health, protection, etc.), and should be systematically considered in hazard-prone contexts. Risk-informed programming across sectors should protect operations and beneficiaries from hazard occurrence, and include contingency arrangements for additional or expanded activities that might be required. Information from early warning systems should be incorporated into programme decision making and design, even where the humanitarian operation is not the result of a specific hazard.
All ECHO beneficiaries and activities should be appropriately protected from hazards and shocks — according to their likelihood of occurrence, intensity and possible impact. ECHO uses two complementary methods for DRR: 1) Integrated DRR is where ECHO humanitarian interventions are risk informed 2) Targeted DRR refers to specific DRR risk reduction actions — that cannot be "integrated" into ECHO response projects (see above) but that will strengthen a system to avoid future humanitarian needs by reducing risk to vulnerable populations.
For targeted DRR interventions, the information in the Single Form should clearly show that:
• all risks have been clearly identified, including their possible interactions;
• the intervention strengthens and promotes the role of the state and non-state actors in disaster reduction and climate change adaptation from national to local levels:
• the measures planned are effective in strengthening the capacity of communities and local authorities to plan and implement local level disaster risk reduction activities in a sustainable way, and have the potential to be replicated in other similar contexts;
• the intervention contributes to improving the mechanisms to coordinate disaster risk reduction programmes and stakeholders at national to local levels.
• demonstrate that the action is designed including the existing good practice in this field;
• the partner has an appropriate monitoring, evaluation and learning mechanism to ensure evidence of the impact of the action and good practice are gathered, and effectively disseminated.
Strengthening coordination: Partners should provide specific information on their active engagement in cluster/sector and inter-cluster/sector coordination: participation in coordination mechanisms at different levels, not only in terms of meetings but also in terms of joint field assessments and engagement in technical groups and joint planning activities. The partners should actively engage with the relevant local authorities and, when feasible and appropriate, stipulate co-ordination in Memoranda of Understanding. When appropriate, partners should endeavour to exchange views on issues of common interest with actors present in the field (e.g. EU, UN, AU missions, etc.). In certain circumstances, coordination and deconfliction with military actors might be necessary. This should be done in a way that does not endanger humanitarian actors or the humanitarian space, and without prejudice to the mandate and responsibilities of the actor concerned.
Integrated approaches: Whenever possible, integrated approaches with multi- or cross-sectoral programming of responses in specific geographical areas are encouraged to maximize impact, synergies and cost-effectiveness. Partners are requested to provide information on how their actions are integrated with other actors present in the same area.
Resilience: ECHO's objective is to respond to the acute humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable and exposed people while taking opportunities to increase their resilience — to reduce on-going and future humanitarian needs and to assist a durable recovery. Where
feasible, cost effective, and without compromising humanitarian principles, ECHO support will contribute to longer term strategies to build the capacities of the most vulnerable and address underlying reasons for their vulnerability — to all shocks and stresses.
All ECHO partners are expected to identify opportunities to reduce future risks to vulnerable people and to strengthen livelihoods and capacities. ECHO encourages its partners to develop their contextual risk and vulnerability analysis and to adapt their approach to the type of needs and opportunities identified (see template). This requires partners to strengthen their engagement with government services, development actors and with different sectors. In that regard, ECHO partners should indicate how they will increase ownership and capacity of local actors whenever possible: community mobilisation, CSOs, technical dialogue, coordination and gradual transfer of responsibilities to countries' administration or relevant line ministries.
Good coordination and strategic complementarity between humanitarian and development activities (LRRD approach) are essential to the resilience approach, particularly in relation to i) increasing interest of development partners and governments on nutrition issues; ii) seeking for more sustainable solutions for refugees (access to education, innovative approach toward strengthening self-resilience, etc.); iii) integrating disaster risk reduction into humanitarian interventions.
Community-based approach: In all sectors, interventions should adopt, wherever possible, a community-based approach in terms of defining viable options to effectively help increasing resilience and meeting basic needs among the most vulnerable. Community inclusion should be considered at all stages — design and implementation. Community ownership of the process is more effective and is encouraged. This includes the identification of critical needs as prioritised by the communities, and the transfer of appropriate knowledge and resources.
Response Analysis to Support Modality Selection for all Resource Transfers is mandatory. ECHO will support the most effective and efficient modality of providing assistance, whether it be cash, vouchers or in-kind assistance. DG ECHO does not advocate for the preferential use of either cash, voucher-based or in-kind humanitarian assistance. Partners should provide sufficient information on the reasons about why a transfer modality is proposed and another one is excluded. The choice of the transfer modality must demonstrate that the response analysis took into account the market situation in the affected area. Multiple contextual factors must be taken into account, including technical feasibility criteria, security of beneficiaries, agency staff and communities, beneficiary preference, needs and risks of specific vulnerable groups (such as Pregnant and Lactating Women, elderly, child headed households etc.), mainstreaming of protection (safety and equality in access), gender (different needs and vulnerabilities of women, men, boys and girls) concerns and cost-effectiveness. Therefore for any type of transfer modality proposed, the partner should provide the minimum information as recommended in the 'Thematic Policy Document n° 3 - Cash and Vouchers: Increasing efficiency and effectiveness across all sectors' and demonstrate that the modality proposed will be the most efficient and effective to reach the objective of the action proposed.
For in-kind transfer local purchase are encouraged when possible.
Electronically signed on 17/11/2015 17:12 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563
1 The eligibility date of the Action is not linked to the date of receipt of the Single Form. It is either the eligibility date set in the Single form or the eligibility date of the HIP, whatever occurs latest.
2 Single Forms will be submitted to ECHO using APPEL
3 The Commission reserves the right to consider Single Forms transmitted after this date, especially in
case certain needs/ priorities are not covered by the received Single Forms.
4 The Commission adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18.