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Map of the State of Palestine
UNICEF photo: young students at desks in a classroom © UNICEF State of Palestine/2018/Anas al Baba Students in a school in Gaza receive education kits.

State of Palestine*

In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:

women and children under 5 years benefiting from the provision of medical supplies to local health facilities


people benefiting from improved access to water


people receiving risk education information, including on explosive remnants of war


school-aged children in Gaza, including adolescents, received essential school supplies

2019 requirements: US$21,057,222

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Total people in need: 2.5 million6
Total children (<18) in need: 1.1 million7

Total people to be reached: 657,9008
Total children to be reached: 429,0009

Some 2.5 million Palestinians need humanitarian assistance.1 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 families2 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.3 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,4 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.

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets

Health and nutrition

  • 94,000 women and children under 5 years benefiting from the provision of medical supplies to local health facilities
  • 20,000 pregnant and lactating women receiving health care services
  • 10,420 neonatal children receiving quality, life-saving services


  • 320,000 people benefiting from improved access to water
  • 360,000 people benefiting from preparedness against flood risk
  • 284,000 people with increased access to WASH services in health institutions
  • 20,000 people receiving hygiene materials/kits10

Child protection

  • 15,000 people receiving risk education information, including on explosive remnants of war
  • 80,000 children who benefited from structured psychosocial activities in Gaza during the summer months to build their physical and mental health11


  • 33,000 children benefiting from the provision of school supplies and materials
  • 6,700 children benefiting from protective presence/ accompaniment to school
  • 5,000 children benefiting from catch-up classes and structured psychosocial activities

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).5 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.

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Funding requirements

Following the analysis of UNICEF’s funding requirements for 2019-2020, UNICEF is requesting US$21.1 million per year, with a total appeal amount of US$42.1 million. Compared with previous years, the lower amount is not indicative of reduced needs, but a call for development funding to fill gaps to address chronic needs. The UNICEF requirement is greater than the funding requested in the Humanitarian Response Plan, due to the prioritization process applied in the State of Palestine. The funding requested in this appeal is required to continue responding to the worsening humanitarian situation and sustain capacities for crisis response and disaster readiness.

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*'State of Palestine’ was designated for use in all official United Nations documents as of 19 December 2012. It reflects General Assembly resolution 67/19.

1 Figures are drawn from the State of Palestine 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview. The 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview was was not finalized/published at the time of writing this appeal. The appeal will be updated to be aligned with the published Humanitarian Needs Overview, once finalized.
2 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, ‘Main Findings of Living Standards in Palestine (Expenditure, Consumption and Poverty)’, 2017.
3 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 4 October 2018.
4 UNRWA stands for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
5 Available funds include US$10.2 million received against the current appeal and US$80,091 carried forward from the previous year.
6 Figures are drawn from the State of Palestine 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview.
7 Ibid.
8 The total target of 657,900 is the sum of the 297,900 water target in the West Bank and the 360,000 water target in the flood risk areas in Gaza.
9 The total number of children to be reached (428,770, rounded to 429,000) is the sum of 99,820 children (10,000+80,000+8,820+1,000) targeted for various interventions and 50 per cent of the total target for water (657,900 people) in Gaza and the West Bank (328,950).
10 The hygiene target increased from 11,895 in the Humanitarian Response Plan to 20,000 in the Humanitarian Action for Children appeal.
11 This target has not been included in the Humanitarian Response Plan but has been included in the Humanitarian Action for Children appeal.