Total people in need: 2.5 million
Total children (<18) in need: 1.1 million
Total people to be reached: 657,900
Total children to be reached: 429,000
Some 2.5 million Palestinians need humanitarian assistance. Long-term humanitarian needs in the State of Palestine remain largely attributable to the ongoing conflict. Poverty has increased, with over 50 per cent of Palestinian families living below the poverty line, and over 48 percent of Palestinians unemployed. West Bank residents are subject to a series of internal barriers, contributing to delays in the movement of goods and services and creating pockets of extreme vulnerability. In Gaza, the “Great March of Return” protests, which began on 30 March, highlighted deteriorating living conditions. The violent response to the protests resulted in over 21,000 injuries, including 4,250 children injured and at least 40 child fatalities. The socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire for children, resulting in increased vulnerabilities and negative coping strategies such as child labour and early marriage. Restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza are negatively affecting trade, employment and supply of services. The significant shortfalls in donor support to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, which grew in 2018, have put at risk the achievements made in children’s health, education and well-being. Funding shortfalls have also eroded community resilience and capacities to respond to shocks.
In 2019, UNICEF will continue to foster synergies between humanitarian and development assistance. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes will strengthen preparedness and response in Gaza by increasing water and sanitation services and facilities, reducing vulnerability to flooding and providing WASH facilities in health centres. In Area C, WASH interventions will focus on communities unconnected to water networks. In health and nutrition, UNICEF will continue to strengthen the health care system by supporting urgently needed age-appropriate, life-saving interventions in Gaza that were strained even further in 2018 due to the high number of trauma cases. In education, in difficult parts of the West Bank, UNICEF will assist children to reach schools safely. Support in Gaza will focus on enhancing reading and numerical skills for children at risk of dropout, including remedial and catch-up classes for adolescents. UNICEF will support integrated psychosocial support and child protection services, with a focus on those injured during the “Great March of Return” in Gaza and those living in high-risk areas in the West Bank. Under the multi-year approach, UNICEF multi-sectoral focus areas are early childhood care and development and adolescence, which both focus on reaching children living with disabilities and the most vulnerable children.
Results from 2018
As of 30 September 2018, UNICEF had US$14.1 million available against the US$25.8 million appeal (55 per cent funded). In 2018, more than 262,000 children under 5 years and women benefited from improved health and nutritional services. Health facilities in Gaza received 509 pallets of drugs, covering over 235,000 high-risk pregnant and lactating women, newborns and young children. With UNICEF support, over 41,000 people in humanitarian situations accessed an improved water source through support to emergency desalination in Gaza and summer water trucking in Area C. In response to the acute psychosocial needs in Gaza, UNICEF-supported family centres reached 296 injured children who were visited at home and received psychological first aid. In addition, more than 6,000 children benefited from structured child protection interventions. A UNICEF-funded initiative with UNRWA enabled over 50,000 crisis-affected children to take part in structured after-school activities, providing them with relief from significant stress. Across the West Bank, nearly 5,900 children and teachers, including 293 children and 15 teachers in the Hebron H2 area, benefited from protective presence/ accompaniment to school. However, the significant lack of funding for humanitarian education programmes in 2018 meant that no protective presence programming was possible for several months.