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**In accordance with Executive Board decision 2006/19 (E/ICEF/2006/5/Rev.1), the present document will be revised and posted on the UNICEF website no later than six weeks after discussion of the CPD at the Board session. It will then be approved by the Executive Board at its second regular session of 2007.
Note: Submission of this document was delayed for technical reasons.
2. Schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are affected by the surrounding violence, incursions and restrictions on access and movements. From September 2005 to May 2006, some 64,712 students in 144 schools lost 215 school days as a result of security interruptions of access. The quality of education is declining, and Palestinian children are showing increasing signs of psychosocial distress, manifested by low school achievement, nightmares and bed-wetting.
3. The proportion of the population below the poverty line rose from 23 per cent (1998) to 34 per cent (2001) and remains high at 31 per cent (2004). Most affected is the Gaza Strip, where the percentage of the population below the poverty line increased from 37 per cent (1998) to 52 per cent (2001), and remains high at 42 per cent (2004).
4. Until the current difficult political and security circumstances change inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, UNICEF-supported interventions will focus primarily on preventing a worsening of all basic indicators, mitigating the impact of violence and strengthening development capacity.
5. The situation of refugee Palestinian children in Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon is different, although programmatic concerns exist in varying degrees in all locations.
6. There are 451,000 Palestinians living in the Syrian Arab Republic, (2006 figure from the General Administration for Palestine Arab Refugees, GAPAR), 1.8 million in Jordan, and 394,000 in the 12 refugee camps mandated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and 16 gatherings spread throughout Lebanon. Some 20,000 displaced Palestinians from the Gaza Strip live in the Al-Salleleh camp in Jordan. Palestinians in Lebanon face severe restrictions on opportunities to work. Between 2003 and 2006, the Palestinian population living under the poverty line ranged from 60 per cent in Lebanon (camps) to 22 per cent in Jordan and 7 per cent in Syrian Arab Republic (camps).
7. In Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the situation analysis of the Palestinian refugee children has not changed significantly from that presented in the area programme document approved for the 2006-2007 programme.
The programme of cooperation, 2008-2009
Summary budget table
Goals, key results and strategies
8. The 2008-2009 area programme continues a multi-pronged approach to promoting the rights of Palestinian children, including those with disabilities. The programme supports national-level interventions as well as selected specific-area interventions in health and nutrition; water and sanitation; education; child protection and adolescent development and participation. The individual approach in various locations will be tailored to specific needs. The programme is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the prevailing operational environment. While the situation of children continues to remain serious, no major shifts were noted in the 2006 MICS findings that would warrant a change in the focus and strategic direction for the 2008-2009 programme.
9. The following are the key results expected to be achieved by end-2009 (and compared with 2006 statistics):
(a) At least 30 per cent more Palestinian children under five benefit from health and nutrition services;
(b) Between 5 per cent and 25 per cent more Palestinian children are benefiting from access to early childhood development (ECD) services, including community-based, family focused and child-friendly approaches and services;
(c) Between 5 per cent and 25 per cent more Palestinian women of childbearing age are enjoying health and nutrition services;
(d) Maternal mortality is reduced by between 5 per cent and 10 per cent;
(e) Between 5 per cent and 36 per cent more Palestinian children and women in refugee camps, and those using health facilities and schools, benefit from access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities;
(f) Access to quality primary education by Palestinian children, especially girls, is increased and maintained at over 90 per cent;
(g) Protection of Palestinian children against violence, exploitation and abuse is improved through the promotion of a protective environment;
(h) Between 5 per cent and 20 per cent more Palestinian adolescents are benefiting from an environment that enhances their development, protection and participation and includes HIV/AIDS education;
(i) An improved knowledge and database on children and a functioning system for monitoring and analysing factors undermining children’s and women’s rights is available;
(j) Evidence-based policy analysis is conducted in support of effective advocacy for improved allocation of resources for children and the realization of the rights of all Palestinians.
10. In order to achieve these results, the area programme will adopt the following strategies:
(a) Delivery of basic services , including health and education, in targeted areas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the three countries;
(b) Capacity-building at all levels for programme management, including ensuring greater accountability in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the programme and to promote community participation and family empowerment;
(c) Social mobilization and communication for behaviour change to promote family and community knowledge on optimal child care practices;
(d) Partnerships and coordination to achieve lasting results, leverage resources, share information, including best practices, and avoid overlapping;
(e) Advocacy for the fulfilment of the rights of Palestinian children.
Relationship to national and international priorities and the UNDAF
11. The Occupied Palestinian Territory is not included in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) process. Nonetheless, the programme is coordinated within the United Nations country team, and is consistent with national goals expressed in the Seven-Year National Plan of Action for Palestinian Children and the 2005-2007 Medium-Term Development Plan, reflecting the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and the goals of A World Fit for Children . The Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan are aligning their interventions for Palestinian refugee children with Common Country Assessments (CCAs) and UNDAF. In Lebanon, no CCA/UNDAF is currently in place.
12. Child survival, growth and development . This programme contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4 and to supporting responsible authorities in reducing child and maternal mortality and ensuring that children and mothers can access quality health and nutrition services. Scaling up neonatal and child survival interventions, including neonatal care, immunization and Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) will be supported. The key nutrition interventions such as the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, young child feeding interventions, micronutrient supplementation and food fortification (salt and flour) will be coordinated with other key players such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme (WFP). Advocacy measures will be emphasized in order to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of sustainable mother and child health/nutrition policies. The development and dissemination of child care, nutrition, disability and hygiene messages will be supported. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for unserved or poorly served communities will also receive priority.
13. Achieving universal primary education . The programme contributes to the achievement of Millennium Goal 2, creating school environments that encourage children, including girls, to enrol and complete school, improving education quality, and enabling young children to benefit from pre-school education. The programme seeks to ensure that children’s right to education is recognized and promoted by all duty bearers. The focus includes improving school access and quality of learning by increasing enrolment, attendance and learning achievement rates for primary-school children. Girls’ enrolment rates would be sustained to ensure full access to education, including at higher grades. Institutional capacity-building interventions for teacher education, including for pre-school teachers at the national and district levels, will also be a priority. The Education Management Information System (EMIS) in basic education will be strengthened through the development of a strategy and action plan for the collection of education statistics at national, district and peripheral levels.
14. Child protection . The child protection programme seeks to ensure that effective mechanisms are in place to detect and address the physical, psychological and social impact of violence, abuse and exploitation on children. The programme will support the establishment of a national system to monitor abuse, exploitation and violence against children as well as the situation of children in conflict with the law. National legislation will be reviewed to bring it in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Support will be given to the Palestinian Authority to build the capacity of officials in social protection, education, law enforcement and health to detect and manage child abuse. Parents will play a central role in child protection.
15. Development and participation of adolescents . The programme seeks to create an environment that empowers children and adolescents, enabling them to be proactive and to participate in decision-making processes. Both at school and in their communities, adolescents will be encouraged to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. Additional efforts will be made to increase the number of adolescent-friendly spaces and programmes and improve them so that adolescents, especially girls, can engage in after-school learning, recreation, sports, socializing and participation in community development activities. Emphasis will be placed on mainstreaming gender-sensitive, life skills-based education in the educational system, including curricula at all levels. Adolescents and caregivers will have increased access to life skills-based education, including information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The programme will support the establishment of a monitoring and coordination body to support implementation and evaluation of work related to youth.
16. Advocacy, communication, social policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation . The programme seeks to improve the knowledge base, advocacy efforts and social policies in support of children’s rights and to strengthen the institutional capacity of partners in results-oriented, participatory and community-based planning and in improved performance-monitoring and evaluation. The programme will support the Government, through social policy analysis and guidance, in developing national, district and sectoral plans for reducing poverty and fulfilling the rights of the poorest children and women, as well as in planning, monitoring and evaluation of the country programme. Emphasis will be placed on developing effective advocacy and communication strategies for the fulfilment of child rights at all levels.
17. In the four locations, cooperation between UNICEF and various line Ministries and key counterparts, such as GAPAR in the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations, will continue. UNICEF will also continue its close coordination with agencies in the United Nations country teams, including UNRWA, and expand coordination and cooperation where possible, based on windows of opportunity concerning action for children. Frameworks and/or strategies will evolve in tandem with the requirements and challenges of the operational environment.
Monitoring, evaluation and programme management
18. The management of the area programme will continue to follow a decentralized approach, with oversight provided by the UNICEF office for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Monitoring and evaluation activities will be coordinated through integrated monitoring and evaluation plans, and a database to systematize monitoring. DevInfo will be used to monitor progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Summary Result Matrix for 2008-2009 Area Programme for Palestinian Children and Women in Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory