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Map of the State of Palestine
UNICEF photo: a girl is holding a younger child © UNICEF State of Palestine/2019/Noorani Eight-year-old Shahed carries her youngest sibling, Nadia, outside of her tented home in Ibziq Bedouin village within Area C in the Northern Jordan Valley, West Bank.

State of Palestine*

In 2020, UNICEF and partners plan for:
18,300

children accessing mental health and psychosocial support and child protection interventions

10,420

newborns benefiting from quality life-saving health services in neonatal intensive care units

280,000

people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

2020 requirements: US$19,605,510

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Snapshot

Total people in need: 2.2 million6
Total children (<18) in need: 1.1 million7

Total people to be reached: 280,0008
Total children to be reached: 123,0009

Prolonged conflict and occupation are directly impacting the livelihoods of 2.4 million Palestinians1 and denying them safety and access to essential services, such as health care, safe drinking water and education. The divide between the West Bank and Gaza and the fiscal crisis are affecting institutions and exacerbating vulnerabilities. The 12-year blockade on Gaza has limited the access of 1 million children to basic commodities and restricted freedom of movement.2 Since 30 March 2018, demonstrations at the fence between Israel and Gaza in the context of the Great March of Return have continued, leaving nearly 7,700 children injured and 43 children dead.3 The deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Gaza has led to increasing poverty and overwhelmed social services. In 2019, children in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been affected by increases in insecurity, attacks on schools, settler violence, forcible transfer and movement restrictions. Children in contact with security forces, especially boys, continue to face grave protection risks, with potential long-term impacts. The realization of the right to education is compromised due to search operations in schools and violence towards students and teachers. Services addressing gender-based violence remain insufficient, nationwide.

Humanitarian strategy

2020 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 40,000 children under 5 years receive targeted nutrition services
  • 36,000 pregnant and lactating women receiving iron and folic acid supplementation and nutrition awareness raising

Health

  • 10,420 newborns benefiting from quality life-saving health services in neonatal intensive care units
  • 26,750 women of reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women receive quality maternal services

WASH

  • 280,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 259,495 people accessing appropriate sanitation facilities

Child protection10

  • 18,300 children accessing mental health and psychosocial support and child protection interventions
  • 2,880 children benefit from specialized individual case management
  • 12,400 children accessing mine-explosive weapons risk education

Education

  • 78,000 children benefiting from the provision of education supplies and materials
  • 5,000 children in Grades 3 to 6 benefiting from catch-up classes in Gaza

UNICEF will work closely with partners to foster synergies between humanitarian and development assistance, emphasizing emergency preparedness. Given the deterioration of the water and sanitation situation and the energy crisis, UNICEF will provide safe drinking water,4 solar power, water tanks, network upgrades, improved latrines, sanitation services, hygiene promotion and access to school WASH facilities. To address the deteriorating protection situation, UNICEF will continue to prioritize strengthening child protection systems, including case management, psychosocial support, legal aid and addressing negative coping mechanisms. Monitoring and reporting on child rights will inform evidence-based advocacy. In line with the National Health Strategy (2017–2022), UNICEF will support neonatal emergency health care, postnatal care and early childhood development, focusing on children with developmental delays and disabilities. In line with the Education Sector Strategic Plan (2017–2022), UNICEF will ensure that children benefit from improved access to quality and inclusive learning in safe environments and are enabled to contribute to their communities and national development. UNICEF will also support flood preparedness activities in high-risk areas. UNICEF will work with partners to operationalize accountability to affected people, and will work on an inter-agency Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse action plan.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$13.7 million available against the US$21 million appeal (65 per cent funded).5 With UNICEF support, over 30,000 people have benefited from improved access to water and over 4,100 households have received portable and domestic water tanks. Additional water system interventions are underway to improve access by the end of 2019. Nearly 6,400 children received life-skills education, counselling and child-parent programmes, and over 90,000 children and adolescents in Gaza participated in summer life-skills activities. Through UNICEF education programmes, nearly 6,200 children safely accessed school, and nearly 4,600 children received assistance to improve their literacy and numeracy. With UNICEF support, partners delivered essential postnatal home visits to reduce mother- and infant-related morbidity in Gaza, reaching 13,000 neonates and mothers. Nearly 98,700 children under 5 years and women benefited from life-saving medical supplies. Over 3,000 children under 5 years were screened for malnutrition, and 82 children with severe acute malnutrition and 237 children with moderate acute malnutrition received treatment. A nutrition assessment for Gaza was finalized and will inform action planning with other humanitarian actors. UNICEF is also working with inter-agency and implementing partners to strengthen capacities on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

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Funding requirements

In line with the inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$19.6 million to respond to the humanitarian situation in the State of Palestine and ensure capacities for response and preparedness in 2020. Without this funding, UNICEF will be unable to support affected communities with critical health, nutrition and WASH services, and ensure that children and caregivers in vulnerable areas have access to education and protection. UNICEF will continue to support the coordination of the WASH and education clusters and the child protection working group.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 'State of Palestine: 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview', OCHA, October 2019.
2 United Nations Children's Fund, 'State of Palestine Humanitarian Situation Report January–June 2019', UNICEF, www.unicef.org/appeals/files/UNICEF_State_of_Palistine_Humanitarian_Situation_Report_Mid_Year_2019.pdf, accessed 24 September 2019.
3 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 'Humanitarian snapshot: Casualties in the context of demonstrations and hostilities in Gaza 30 Mar 2018 - 31 July 2019', OCHA, 31 August 2019, www.ochaopt.org/content/humanitarian-snapshot-casualties-context-demonstrations-and-hostilities-gaza-30-mar-2018-0, accessed 24 September 2019.
4 Through a sea water treatment plant.
5 Available funds include US$6 million received against the 2019 appeal and US$7.7 million carried forward from the previous year.
6 'State of Palestine: 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview', p. 5.
7 Ibid.
8 UNICEF targets are projected based on approved humanitarian response plans considering populations in most acute need, its own delivery capacity and other cluster and non-cluster partner contributions.
9 The State of Palestine has revised the Humanitarian Response Plan request for 2020 based on a review of 2019 implementation and the addition of new interventions. The full set of programme targets will be reflected in the 2020 situation reports.
10 Although child protection coverage has reduced, the package of interventions has expanded to include case management, which justifies the higher funding ask.