The humanitarian situation in the State of Palestine is tied to the prolonged conflict and occupation, which has been ongoing for 50 years. The 10-year blockade and three major escalations of hostilities over the past six years have increased frustrations and exacerbated the vulnerability of the 1.8 million Palestinians1 living in the Gaza Strip. Today, one in every four children in Gaza needs protection and psychosocial support.2 Chronic power deficits disrupt basic services, including education, health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Demolitions in the West Bank communities in Area C and East Jerusalem have generated ongoing displacement. Movement restrictions across the West Bank are impeding access to services and undermining economic activity. Child protection concerns are widespread. Palestinian children are exposed to violence in the streets and there are concerns related to the conditions and treatment of children while in military detention.
In the context of this protracted crisis, UNICEF is working closely with partners and donors and focusing on vulnerabilities in Gaza, Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. UNICEF will provide essential life-saving neonatal and maternal health care services. Support will also be provided for the rehabilitation of water and sewage systems in communities affected by the 2014 war in Gaza and in water-scarce areas in the West Bank. UNICEF will support inclusive education through supplies, school uniforms and remedial learning for school-aged children. Adolescents will engage in life-skills and entrepreneurial learning, as well as recreational programmes; and children crossing checkpoints in the West Bank will gain safe access to learning. UNICEF will support protection services, including psychosocial support, for affected children and their families. Monitoring and reporting on grave violations will be strengthened, as will advocacy for improved protection of children in military detention. UNICEF is also supporting the strengthening of national capacities towards emergency preparedness, thereby linking humanitarian and development programming.
Results from 2017
As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$20.5 million against the US$41.9 million appeal (49 per cent funded).3 UNICEF supported quality health services for children and women in affected communities through the provision of essential drugs and micronutrients. UNICEF enabled sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by upgrading damaged networks. In water-scarce communities in the West Bank, UNICEF continued to provide tankered water. The distribution of hygiene kits to conflict-affected families in Gaza benefited more than 53,000 people. UNICEF supported more than 75,000 school-aged children to access formal and non-formal remedial learning sessions and educational supplies. UNICEF reached adolescents with life-skills and stress relief activities, and supported the protective accompaniment of 4,334 children and 333 teachers in Area C of the West Bank. UNICEF provided child protection services, including psychosocial support and counselling, through 23 family centres in Gaza.
Total children (under 18): 911,000
Total people to be reached in 2017: 327,483
Total children to be reached in 2017: 221,369
2017 programme targets
• 45,000 children and 50,000 pregnant women provided with access to health care services
• 105,000 people (48,886 children) with access to water, adequate sanitation and hygiene
• 24,487 children n the humanitarian situations accessing WASH facilities in their learning environments
• 56.696 children provided with access to child protection services, including psychosocial support
• 46.596 people with access to unexploded ordnance information
• 40,000 school-aged children in Gaza and the West Bank benefitted from educational supplies and school uniforms
• 30,000 adolescents participated in community initiatives focused on addressing violence and building social cohesion
Health and nutrition
• 150,000 children in Gaza received essential school supplies
• 4,400 school-age children accessing schools through protective presence
Results are through 31 October 2016 unless noted
(i)The high number of beneficiaries is due to cany over from 2016. Funding from 2015 reached beneficiaries in 2016.
(ii) This project component was not funded; the results were achieved with prepositioned supplies from 2015.
(iii) Lack of funding limited achievement of results for WASH, child protection and education.
(iv) Lack of funding limited achievement of results; an additional 36,000 are to be reached by the end of the year.
In line with the country's inter-agency 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$24,546,000 for the year 2017 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in the State of Palestine. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support affected communities with critical health and WASH services. Funding is also urgently needed to ensure that children and caregivers in highly vulnerable areas have access to protection services; and that their right to education is not compromised.
1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 'State of Palestine Humanitarian Response Plan 2016', OCHA.
2 Data provided by the Protection Cluster.
3 Available funds included funding received against the current appeal of US$8.4 million and the US$12.1 million carried forward from the previous year.