• During the month of June, the situation remained tense in the State of Palestine with violent clashes in the West Bank and demonstrations in Gaza. In June, there were four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and four Israeli casualties including a 13-year-old girl killed in her house in a settlement near Hebron during an attack by a Palestinian youth.
• In Gaza, UNICEF with its partners Ma'an and Tamer reached 662 children with psychosocial support including group and individual counseling in the supported Family Centres. Additionally, 1,893 children received child protection services in the form of life skills, case management and child-parent interaction programmes.
• In Gaza, in June, 24,000 women and children (50 per cent children) benefited from distribution of drugs and medical equipment through government primary health care units, hospitals and neonatal units.
• In June, UNICEF in collaboration with Gruppo Volontare Civile (GVC) in West Bank, distributed more than 10,240 m3 of water to the most vulnerable communities in Area C reaching 5,132 people with safe drinking water.
• In Gaza, the first phase of construction of the EU-funded seawater desalination plant implemented by UNICEF is nearing completion. When fully operational, it will provide over 75,000 Palestinians with safe water. On 14 June, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations visited the plant and signed a commitment for an additional €10 million for the second phase of the desalination plant.
• The controls and restrictions on importation of supplies remain a key challenge. The suspension of import of cement by the Israeli Authorities from 03 April - 22 May 2016 had a negative impact on implementation of planned activities.
# of people affected
(OCHA HRP 2016)
# of people targeted out of
# of people targeted
(Source: UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2016)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
During the month of June, the situation remained tense in the West Bank and Gaza. Following an attack by a 21-year-old Palestinian on 8 June that resulted in three Israelis killed, Israeli forces closed off all entrances to Yatta for three days, preventing all movement to and from the town, except for humanitarian cases coordinated in advance.
In the same context, Israeli authorities suspended over 83,000 permits issued to West Bank Palestinians and to a few hundred Gaza residents on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, the majority for family visits in Israel.
On 30 June, a Palestinian youth stabbed and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the settlement of Kiryat Arba' near Hebron, and was subsequently shot dead by settlement guards.
In the Gaza Strip, on more than 40 occasions during the month of June, Israeli forces opened warning fire at Palestinians present in the Access Restricted Areas (ARA) on land and at sea, with no injuries reported.
On 26 June, Israel reduced the fishing zone along the southern Gaza coast from 9 to 6 nautical miles. On 3 April 2016, Israel had expanded the fishing area 3 to 9 nautical miles, while retaining the 6 nautical mile limit along the northern coast. The temporary expansion had led to a significant increase in the quantity and quality of the fishing catch. Over 35,000 Palestinians depend on the fishing industry for their livelihoods.
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 collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority and co-leads the Education Cluster with Save the Children in Gaza. At the national level, the Education Cluster has transitioned to an Education in Emergencies working group co-chaired by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) and UNICEF, responsible for coordinating emergency response, and reporting to the Education Sector Working Group. 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 close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WFP, in Gaza and at the national level. UNICEF is leading Cluster transitioning in WASH and Education in the West Bank, through capacity building towards increased Government ownership and more effective coordination.
UNICEF undertakes humanitarian action while also promoting 'resilient development', providing children and families with support 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. Synergies are sought 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 supports the provision of essential and life-saving paediatric medicines and medical consumables; micronutrient supplementation and infant and young child feeding for children and women in Gaza.
Summary Analysis of Programme response
Education and Adolescents
In West Bank, the process of transitioning cluster functions to the Ministry of Education has continued during the reporting period with capacity building and technical support activities such as coordination, gender mainstreaming, mainstreaming of Education in Emergencies into the work plans of the Ministry of Education.
The main gap for Education is the lack of funding which could negatively affect activities for the upcoming school year, such as remedial education, Adolescent Development and Participation programme (ADAP), support for schoolchildren with learning materials and protective presence.
Some of the challenges are high unemployment and lack of opportunities for youth, double shifts in many schools in Gaza causing insufficient instruction time and continuous harassment of children on the way to school in West Bank during the school year.
As of June, members of the Mental Health & Psychosocial Network Working Group (MHPSS) and the UNICEF-led Child Protection Working Group in Gaza reached 63,008 children with structured/focused psychosocial support and counseling services. In West Bank, the UNICEF-led MHPSS Working Group reached 13,572 children (6,195 girls and 7,377 boys) with structured psychosocial support including individual and group counseling.
Some of the main challenges facing the Child Protection section are short term funding envelopes which limits the ability to sustain the support of child protection systems. In addition, continuous high levels of violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank which is stretching partners capacities to respond to psychosocial and legal support needs for affected children and their families and limited partners capacities in understanding of minimum standards for child protection.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Reconstruction work continued in three wells in Khan Younis, Maghazi and Dier AlBalah which had been destroyed during the last war in Gaza. In coordination with CMWU, UNICEF suported the installation of the well pumps in Maghazi, Dier AlBalah and the last pump installed in June in Khan Younis. The remaining electromechanical works including the activation of generators and connection to the networks in all three locations will be completed by early September 2016.
In West Bank,UNICEF in collaboration with GVC has distributed a total amount of 10,244 m3 to the most vulnerable communities in Area C through the coupon system to reaching 5,132 beneficiaries. Also in collaboration with GVC work is ongoing on the rehabilitation/construction of water networks in Tubas, Jericho, and Bethlehem.
UNICEF in collaboration with ACF is carrying out rehabilitation/construction of water networks in the north Jordan Valley. All construction work has been completed. Household connections and water testing is ongoing. Once testing completed, this project will serve 2,865 people.
In the Gaza Strip, the first phase of construction of the EU-funded seawater desalination plant implemented by UNICEF is nearing completion. When fully operational, it will provide over 75,000 Palestinians with safe water in Rafah and Khan Younis.
On 14th June 2016, the EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, visited the UNICEF seawater desalination plant in Gaza. During the visit, an EU commitment was signed for an additional funding of €10 Million for the second phase of the desalination plant which will start in 2017 which when completed will reach an additional 175,000 Palestinians with safe drinking water.
The major challenges in WASH are low level of funding received and long processes for clearance regarding WASH materials, especially materials destined for projects in Gaza.
Child Health & Nutrition
The supplies were used to reach 14,065 patients, half of them were children. UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, distributed micronutrient supplements to health facilities reaching 5,321 children (more than 50 per cent girls) and 11,618 pregnant and lactating mothers.
Within the national breastfeeding promotion programme, 58,074 women in Gaza and the West Bank gained knowledge about breastfeeding and infant young child feeding practices.
UNICEF also provided therapeutic feeding to 510 malnourished children in Gaza through therapeutic food distribution. UNICEF distributed additional micronutrient supplements for 4,000 children (1,900 girls and 2,100 boys) and 6,600 lactating women to prevent and reduce risk of severe acute malnutrition. The main challenge for the Health and Nutrition section are delays in receiving equipment and materials as well as waiting for clearence for materials entering Gaza.
Communications for Development (C4D)
The implementation of the C4D strategy supporting the launch of the Seawater Desalination plant in Gaza is progressing, in close cooperation with Costal Municipality Water Utility (CMWU). A timetable of activities was finalized and communication materials and trainings are being developed. The strategy aims at increasing safe handling and water conservation practices, and increasing awareness on the need to pay water bills in exchange for a sustainable, quality supply of safe drinking water. The cross-sectoral, country-level C4D strategy is now finalized; a consultant has been engaged to start implementing high priority activities.
Supply and Logistics
During the month of June, the Supply Contingency plan was updated and raising of new sales orders for prepositioning is ongoing. The controls and restrictions on importation supplies remain one of the key challenges in the supply chain delivery. Supplies perceived to be susceptible for dual use take longer time to secure approvals from the relevant authorities. To-date, six water tankering trucks ordered in November 2015 for humanitarian assistance in Gaza have yet to be approved. Regular phone calls, emails and meetings are held to expedite the approval process.
Media and External Communication
A press statement was released and media outreach was conducted to cover the visit of the European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn at the Seawater Desalination Plant in Gaza on 14 June, where he announced an additional funding of €10 Million for the second phase.
The visit and the announcment of the funding for the second phase were widely covered in local and international media. An op-ed focusing on UNICEF's WASH desalination programme was published in the monthly magazine 'This week in Palestine' to explain how seawater desalination can help provide vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip with a sustainable, adequate supply of safe drinking water.
The shooting attack in Tel Aviv on 8th June marked the most significant incident in the past few months which caused four Israeli deaths. Violent incidents occurred sporadically througout the month of June. During the month, there were two cases of vehicular attacks on ISF; three stabbing attempts; four shooting attacks and 37 clashes between Palestinians and Israeli Security Forces. These incidents of armed conflict and nationalistic violence excluding the shooting attack on Tel Aviv, reportedly caused deaths of two Palestinians and injuries to more than nine Israelis (including two ISF personnel) and more than 20 Palestinians. Israeli and Palestinian security forces continued efforts to maintain the situation under control while continuously facing challenges. The security level remained unchanged with low in Jerusalem and Israel, moderate in West Bank and substantial in Gaza.
There has been no funding received during the month of June against HAC and HRP projects.
* Funds available includes funding received for the current appeal year as well as the carry-forward from the
previous year. Total carry-forward amount: USD 12,149,704.
Next Sit Rep: 15/9/2016
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