State of Palestine Appeal
Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
State of Palestine snapshot
- In the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, around 2.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, among them 933,994 children. The situation in the State of Palestine remains a protracted protection crisis, exacerbated by the May 2021 escalation, the closure of the Gaza Strip, the COVID-19 pandemic and a deepening financial and fiscal crisis within the Palestinian economy.
- UNICEF will address humanitarian and recovery needs resulting from the May 2021 escalation, support national COVID-19 response, expand services for vulnerable children, adolescents and women, and enhance the capacities of shock-responsive social protection mechanisms.
- In 2022, UNICEF is requesting US$39.5 million to ensure 731,420 people have access to safe water for drinking and domestic needs and 108,000 children and women have access to primary healthcare in UNICEF-supported facilities. UNICEF will support 38,800 children and caregivers to access mental health and psychosocial services, while 60,000 children will receive individual learning materials.
Key planned results for 2022
108,000 children and women accessing health care
731,420 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
38,800 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
60,000 children receiving individual learning materials
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
The State of Palestine is beset by a protracted protection crisis and suffers from a chronic humanitarian situation. Around 2.1 million people, including 933,994 children in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continue to be impacted. This crisis is exacerbated by Israel’s occupation of the State of Palestine, with the closure of the Gaza Strip and the escalation in May 2021 contributing to fueling tensions leading to conflicts, but also the COVID-19 pandemic, the internal Palestinian political divide, and a deepening fiscal and financial crisis within the Palestinian economy.
This humanitarian situation compounds multi-sectoral and household vulnerabilities increasing child protection risks, as some actors scaled down due to financial cuts. This hampers reaching the most vulnerable, particularly girls, and generates additional needs for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). The protection cluster estimates that 678,000 children (345,800 boys and 332,200 girls) require child protection and MHPSS services, as do 185,000 caregivers (137,000 in the Gaza Strip).
Domestic violence is widespread; approximately 90 per cent of Palestinian children face some form of violent discipline at home, including 20.1 per cent subjected to severe physical violence from their caregivers. Furthermore, 10.3 per cent of children are engaged in child labour, including hazardous labour. The consequences of COVID-19 and the recurrent conflict-related violence are severely impacting children’s well-being and increasing the risks of negative coping mechanisms, particularly for the most vulnerable.
Insufficient water supply to households, poor sanitation and solid waste services, limited public WASH services and risk of flooding are further putting 1.36 million Palestinians at risk of waterborne diseases.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the escalation of May 2021 led to extended school closures, impacting children’s access to education as well as learning outcomes. The education cluster estimates that 579,173 Palestinians (56 per cent women and girls), including around 13,398 children with disabilities, will miss access to learning in 2022.
Health services were also overstretched and disrupted during and following the May 2021 escalation in Gaza, leaving an estimated 1.5 million people with limited access to primary healthcare, among them 700,000 children.
The rapid damage needs assessment conducted after the escalation indicated that approximately 8,000 households will fall into poverty in the coming months, which calls for an enhanced humanitarian social protection response. This includes an estimated 7,000 children in families whose homes were partially or completely damaged.
In 2022, UNICEF aims to deliver integrated life-saving basic services for the most vulnerable children and their families, and continue promoting and protecting children’s rights by generating evidence on the impact of violence and grave violations and advocating with all parties.
In line with the humanitarian-development nexus, UNICEF will strengthen the Government's systems to increase their level of preparedness while mainstreaming the “building back better” approach throughout the interventions. UNICEF will further enhance community engagement and consultation and build community-level resilience through social and behavior change approaches. Priority will be given to gender, disability, adolescents and youths' needs, and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) will be mainstreamed throughout the interventions.
In keeping with the needs identified by the child protection area of responsibility, UNICEF will address the critical protection needs of children and their caregivers by supporting access to MHPSS interventions.
In collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority and the Coastal Municipality Water Utility, UNICEF will continue restoring WASH infrastructure impacted during the May 2021 escalation as well as by the recurrent evictions in the West Bank, while increasing access to gender-sensitive and disability-friendly water supply and sanitation services in basic services, facilities and at household levels. UNICEF will also provide hygiene supplies to vulnerable households through the e-voucher system as part of the COVID-19 infection prevention and hygiene promotion response. Flood preparedness and response, as well as flood mitigation measures, will be supported in coordination with the WASH cluster.
With partners, UNICEF will strengthen health and nutrition services by procuring essential medical supplies, micronutrient supplements and medical equipment, and building health professionals’ capacity to diagnose and treat the most vulnerable children and their caregivers.
The education programme will help children and teachers access a safe learning environment and quality learning through rehabilitating schools, providing learning materials, after-school interventions and teachers' training, and implementing protocols to prevent further COVID-19 infections.
The humanitarian cash transfer response plans to reach children in the Gaza Strip affected by the May 2021 escalation, linking them to other basic social services, within the humanitarian-development nexus approach.
UNICEF will continue to lead the WASH cluster, the child protection and nutrition working groups, co-lead the education cluster together with Save the Children, and spearhead the risk communication and community engagement efforts while collaborating with line ministries, non-governmental organizations and other United Nations agencies.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in the State of Palestine; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.