MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Occupied Palestinian Territory
The climate of violence and distress in the Occupied Palestinian Territory emerges in a girl’s drawing created as part of a group activity at a school in Qabatya in the West Bank. Many Palestinian children need ongoing psychosocial support.
Children and women in crisis
Successive waves of violence caused by prolonged Israeli military occupation have chipped away at the living conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, leading to psychological damage, poverty and lack of such essentials as health services, safe drinking water, sanitation and education. As the Israeli blockade of Gaza enters its fourth year, serious humanitarian consequences continue for the 1.5 million people – at least half of them children – who live there. In the West Bank, the intrusive barrier, which when complete will be over 700 kilometres long, restricts access to land, water and education for thousands of children, while restrictions on movement affect the total population of 2.4 million. Distressing effects of settler violence and forced displacements are manifest among Palestinians, particularly children.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
UNICEF leads the WASH and education clusters, the child protection sub-cluster and the Monitoring and Reporting Working Group on grave violations against children in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory. The organization also contributes to the health, food security and nutrition clusters. Together with the government, other UN agencies and NGOs, UNICEF plans to use funds gathered for 2011 to improve the prospects of 1.5 million women and children.
- 311,000 mothers will be reached through counselling and awareness-raising on exclusive breastfeeding and adequate micronutrient supplementation in order to reduce nutritional deficiencies among infants and pregnant women.
- Hospitals and primary health-care centres will be provided with life-saving medical equipment, and families will benefit from early interventions and improved knowledge on caring for infants in crisis. This will help provide better care for around 50,000 high-risk newborns.
- 207,000 people (including 144,000 children) will have access to safe water and sanitation through five newly installed desalination plants and through emergency repairs of water and sewage networks. UNICEF will distribute water to 80 primary schools and rehabilitate WASH facilities in 55 schools.
- 210,000 children will have improved access to basic education when UNICEF facilitates transportation, supplies and learning material for affected schools, and gives support to remedial and recreational programmes. Access to alternative learning opportunities will be provided to 13,500 children aged 10–18, who are at risk of dropping out.
- To mitigate the impact of violence and armed conflict on children, 310,000 children and 20,500 older children aged 10–18 will receive child protection and psychosocial support, and 95,000 caregivers and volunteers will be mobilized in child protection networks.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In 2010, UNICEF estimated that US$24,247,910 was needed to fund its human-itarian work in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. As of October 2010, a total of US$9,794,657 had been received, or 40 per cent of the goal. UNICEF used these funds to improve access to safe water and sanitation for roughly 131,000 people, including 101,000 children. Protection and psychosocial services helped strengthen coping skills of more than 70,000 children and 36,000 caregivers in Gaza; group and individual counselling benefited an additional 5,000 children and 1,800 caregivers. To address health concerns, including micronutrient deficits, UNICEF helped educate 7,500 mothers in infant feeding practices and provided emergency polio vaccines to 42,000 children. Catch-up school sessions have benefited around 19,000 children whose education has been disrupted or stalled, and around 35,000 adolescents participated in after-school learning and recreational activities.
Funding requirements for 2011
UNICEF is requesting US$18,759,000 for its 2011 humanitarian work to achieve the objectives stated above. UNICEF has aligned its request with the 2011 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements, with additional monies requested in the health sector to cover pressing needs.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $18,759,000