In 2017, as the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) enters its 50th year of occupation, humanitarian needs remain high. Tensions continue in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and Gaza continues to experience restrictions and deprivations stemming from the blockade imposed on it since 2007.
During the first quarter of 2017, a total of 136 children were detained and/or arrested in East Jerusalem, including 4 children below the age of 12 (age of criminal responsibility). Out of these 136 children, UNICEF provided 113 children (83 %) and their families with legal aid services through Mada Creative Center in East Jerusalem.
UNICEF, in collaboration with GVC, distributed tankered water to the most vulnerable communities of Ar Ramadeen, Masafer Bani Naim, Khalet Al Mayya, Al Karmel, Yatta, Tubas and Jericho through a coupon system to benefit 7,500 people in 2017.
In Gaza, UNICEF in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Near East Council of Churches reached 1,175 mothers and their newborn babies with post-natal home visiting services, exceeding its target in the first quarter. Additionally, 510 at-risk newborn babies benefited from quality life-saving and effective interventions.
In education, protective presence needs continue to be high. In the first half of 2016 alone, education-related grave violations nearly doubled since 2015: there were 127 education-related violations in Palestine, affecting 14,751 children. UNICEF continues to facilitate access to education in high-risk locations in the West Bank, particularly in Area C by providing protective presence in partnership with the international NGO Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine.
UNICEF SoP's humanitarian response requirements for 2017 amount to US$ 24.5 million. UNICEF's funding gap stands at US$ 17.2 million, which if not met will jeopardise UNICEF's ability to meet the needs of up to 221,296 targeted children with essential emergency services.
# of affected population
# of people affected
(UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2017)
# of Children targeted out of
# of people targeted
(Source: UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2017)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In 2017, as the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) enters its 50th year of occupation, humanitarian needs remain high. Tensions continue in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and Gaza continues to experience restrictions and deprivations stemming from the blockade imposed on it since 2007. In addition, the three major escalations of hostilities in Gaza over the past six years have increased the vulnerability of the 1.9 million Palestinians living in the Strip. Seventy per cent of the population in Gaza has access to water for only a few hours, every two to four days, most of which is not potable. Power shortages continue, with most households receiving electricity for only six to eight hours per day. Such power shortages also hinder the delivery of essential services. Health care services in Gaza continue to struggle to meet the needs of the population, facing challenges including the lack of adequate stocks of lifesaving medicines and supplies.' In the West Bank around 35,000 people are estimated to be without water network connections in vulnerable communities in Area C. Accountability for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by all sides is an urgent priority. The challenges faced by human rights defenders monitoring protection issues are an emerging area of concern.
The economy has not been able to create enough jobs, resulting in unemployment rates reaching 27 per cent in 2016 (18 percent in the West Bank and 42 percent in Gaza).2The latter impacts on household poverty rates, causing children to slip deeper into poverty. For youth, the high unemployment rate and lack of opportunities remain a significant challenge throughout Palestine. The practice of demolitions and seizures of Palestinian property accelerated in the first month of 2017 with 140 structures destroyed or seized, more than 50 per cent higher than the monthly average in 2016.3 Such demolitions create significant numbers of children being displaced and exposed to vulnerabilities as a result.
According to the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan the humanitarian requirements total US$ 547million, covering 243 projects to be implemented by 95 partners. It is worth noting that these requirements are 4 percent lower than the 2016 humanitarian requirements due primarily to a significant reduction in the shelter request for Gaza.
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 cooperation with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), and co-leads the Education Cluster with Save the Children in Gaza. At the national level, the Education Cluster has transitioned to a sector working group on Education in Emergencies, co-chaired by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) and UNICEF, responsible for coordinating emergency response. UNICEF is also leading Cluster transitioning in WASH, through capacity building towards increased Government ownership, with the PWA playing an increasingly important role.
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 Gaza and at the national level, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and WHO.
In Palestine, UNICEF ensures complementarity with national efforts in the most vulnerable communities. UNICEF provides technical expertise and support in strengthening child protection systems and services, including case management and referrals. It monitors and reports on grave violations against children, thus 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, including micronutrient supplementation and infant and young child feeding for children and women.
Summary Analysis of Programme response
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
UNICEF in cooperation with its partner MA'AN, completed the rehabilitation of the main transmission water pipeline line in the Hebron directorate localities of Um al Kher, Najada, Khashem Al Karem, and Dkaika, benefitting 267 families. Another 15 families (75 people) benefited from the rehabilitation of household water cisterns by end of February.Among the many challenges faced in the WASH sector, those that stand out are: delays in the entry into Gaza of material for repair work and rehabilitation; the limited resources compared to the immense needs; the lack of knowledge related to women's rights, especially in rural areas; and a lack of a networking platform among women CBOs.
Education and Adolescents
In the West Bank, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) and the Palestinian Counselling Center, 30 child protection counsellors received trainings and mentoring on the case management of children in need of protection. A total of 19 child protection counsellors received 8 group supervision sessions on the rehabilitation of children victims of violence and abuse in their families. A 2-day stress management workshop was conducted for 30 counsellors using expressive arts for releasing the stress of participants. The procedural manual for children of unknown descendants was finalized and endorsed by the MoSD, enabling the Palestinian Counselling Center accompanied by Child protection Counsellors to arrange the first fostering arrangements for two children.
The main challenge is the limited financial resources to sustain child protection services in the oPt, coupled with the volatile political situation in Gaza and West Bank, which threatens to increase the need of children for psychosocial support and child protection services.
Child Health & Nutrition
A total of 1,297 women attended 76 awareness sessions on breastfeeding promotion and nutrition education on complementary feeding in both primary health facilities and hospitals in Gaza.
In support to the MoH, UNICEF and its partner Juzoor completed two basic life support training sessions, (BLS) reaching a total of 42 nurses and doctors. Additionally, and for the first time in the country, a Paediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization (PEARS) Course was introduced to health professionals, reaching a total of 37 doctors and nurses from vulnerable communities in the West Bank (Ramallah, Beir Nabala, Jerusalem, Beitunia, Jericho, Hizma, and Salfeet, Al Thahiriyeh, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, Doura, Halhul, Hebron, Yatta, and Bethlehem).
The deficits in the availability of reconstruction materials and assets in Gaza, due to the blockade and introduction of the dual use list, is a major constraint and is causing delays in the reconstruction of the Neonatal Intensive care units. Another major challenge in addressing the humanitarian needs of most vulnerable families with children is the decreasing funding of the Health sector due to the competing priorities in the region.
The C4D Regional Adviser came on mission to the SoP to support the integration of C4D in the next APD, and the development of the implementation plan of the cross-sectoral C4D strategy (focus on ECD-ECE and on VAC). A C4D consultant was recruited to help kick-start the implementation of the strategy.
Supply and Logistics
As part of the emergency preparedness, UNICEF procured 13,292 stationery kits for primary school pupils as well as 100 adolescent kits that were received into the inventory for pre-positioning. Furthermore, six water tankering trucks for humanitarian assistance that were not able to get into Gaza in the last reporting period due to coordination delays at Erez border crossing finally entered into Gaza. They were handed over to the appropriate WASH implementing partners. Additionally, the supply and logistics' unit emergency preparedness plan was updated in this reporting period.
Media and External Communication
The 'Gaza Young Reporters' webpage was launched; it started featuring content produced with / by 110 girls and boys enrolled in 11 UNICEF social media clubs in schools across the Gaza Strip, as part of a UNICEF campaign highlighting children's rights and humanitarian needs in Gaza.
During the reporting period the security level remained low in Jerusalem and Israel, moderate in the West Bank and substantia I in Gaza. Nationalistic violence by Palestinian and Israeli civilians continued; there were 277 clashes between Palestinian and Israeli security forces (ISF) resulting in the death of five Palestinians and 2 Israelis with injuries of 177 Palestinians and 14 ISF personnel. Isolated nationalistic attacks included eight cases of stabbing, 10 of vehicular attacks, 22 of armed attacks (fire arms or explosive throwing), 70 of Molotov cocktail throwing and a large number of stone throwing, causing deaths of four ISF personnel and eight Palestinians (mainly reported attackers) and injuries to 71 Israelis (including 32 ISF personnel) and 27 Palestinians (including 13 reported attackers) in Jerusalem and the West Bank during the first quarter 2017.
Furthermore, localized less intense military hostilities increased, as Palestinian militants in Gaza fired 10 rockets at Israel, of which five impacted in Israel. Palestinian militants also shot at ISF patrols in five cases. IDF responded by conducting a total of 18 air strikes and 11 tank or artillery shelling in Gaza. Two Palestinians were killed as results of IDF actions in Gaza.
Violence among Palestinians remained a concern, with 13 cases of clashes between Palestinians and Palestinian security forces (PSF) in the West Bank, including exchange of fire in three cases in usual hotspots of Nablus city/Balata Refugee Camp and Jenin City/Jenin Refugee Camp.
*Funds available includes funding received for the current appeal year as well as the carry-forward from the previous year.
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UNICEF State of Palestine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unicefstateofpalestine
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UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2015: http://www.unicef.org/appeals/state of palestine.html
UNICEF State of Palestine
Deputy Special Representative
Email: adufay(@un icef.orci
Chief of Communications
Email : cweibel(@unicef.orq
1 UNOCHA Humanitarian Response Plan 2017, https://www.ochaopt.oresites/clefault/files/humanitarian_response_plan_2017.pdf
2 World Bank Ad Hoc Liaison Report, Sept 2016. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/474311473682340785/pdf/108205-V2-WP-PUBLIC-SEPT-14-2PM-September-2016-AHLC-World-Bank-Report.pdf
3 UNOCHA Article. Monthly overview 2017. https://www.ochaoptorg/publications/articles