Palestinian Programme

UNICEF’s Palestinian Programme aims to further children's rights, improve access to essential services, strengthen the protective environment and promote social inclusion of vulnerable Palestinians.

Palestinian refugee children throw the balls into holes during a basketball activity at the Tadamon center at the Ein el Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, in Saida, south of Lebanon.
UNICEF/Lebanon 2017/Dalia Khamissy

Challenge

Adolescents and young people represent the age demographic that is more directly affected by the system of exclusion affecting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. One adolescent out of two is out of learning, three out of four are poor; youth unemployment is higher than 30%.

Recent changes in UNICEF’s main donors’ policies and priorities have resulted in dramatic funding shortages, which have affected PPL first and foremost. As a consequence, most components of the UNRWA-UNICEF Partnership have been put on hold, affecting the provision of Health, Education, Protection, WASH and humanitarian assistance for both PRS and PRL.

While primary school enrollment rates remain high within the Palestinian community, school retention and completion of basic education have shown negative trends in recent years. Findings from two consecutive Back to School campaigns, conducted in the summer months of 2016 and 2017, suggest that the single most crucial reported reason for primary school dropout is poor achievement, and perceived poor quality of education services among students and families.

Psychosocial distress and negative coping mechanisms have been increasing among Palestinian children and caregivers, partly as a consequence of the additional strain that the Syria crisis has put on the limited resources available to the refugee community

A Palestinian refugee baby gets weighed at the UNRWA clinic at the Ein el Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, in Saida, south of Lebanon.
UNICEF/Lebanon 2017/Dalia Khamissy
A Palestinian refugee baby gets weighed at the UNRWA clinic at the Ein el Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, in Saida, south of Lebanon.

UNICEF and UNRWA are collaborating to ensure that Palestinian children have access to high-quality Maternal and Child Health services, including immunization and breastfeeding support.

Solution

Palestinian Program in Lebanon focuses on two principal axes of intervention:

  • Strengthening the quality and scope of UNRWA's work: this has included programmatic and technical guidance and support, management and M&E support, as well as funding of project-based interventions related to UNICEF's priority themes (Child Survival, Child Development, Child Protection, and Youth Programming)
  • Addressing critical gaps in UNRWA’s assistance to Palestinian refugee children: this has included programmatic interventions in partnership with CSOs, in the areas not covered (or covered only marginally) by UNRWA (Early Childhood Education and Development, Non-Formal Education, Community-Based Child Protection and Psychosocial Support, Life Skills programming, Technical and Vocational Education and Training)

    Our Key Achievements

  • Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED): since January 2018, in partnership with the ECED Consortium of NGOs, UNICEF has supported access to preschool interventions for 6,264 children (49% female) including 513 children with disabilities (37% female), while working with service providers to improve quality of service delivery.
  • Basic Education: to address the issue of low school retention rates, since 2016 UNICEF has supported the implementation of UNRWA’s Education Reform, through joint initiatives aimed at strengthening the Agency’s Quality Assurance Framework, and at promoting a learning environment more appropriate to respond to students’ diverse learning needs, in line with UNRWA’s Inclusive Education policy.
  • Health and WASH: UNICEF and UNRWA are collaborating to ensure that Palestinian children have access to high-quality Maternal and Child Health services, including immunization and breastfeeding support.