Assessment of the vulnerability situation for IDPs in Gaza, three years after the 2014 conflict

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Executive Summary

This vulnerability assessment was conducted 3 years after the 2014 conflict in the Gaza Strip. The findings detail the ongoing vulnerable situation of IDPs in Gaza, and provides updated information about the families to allow humanitarian actors to design informed interventions based on actual and updated needs. The assessment targeted a 20% sample of the current IDP caseload in Gaza.
The assessment finds that there are sectoral humanitarian gaps and provides specific vulnerability information in relation to various humanitarian sectors.

In Shelter, the assessment found that the majority of IDPs’ families are renting housing units, thus any delays or uncertainty in the Transitional Shelter Cash Assistance (TSCA), which is used to support rent costs, exacerbates vulnerabilities and puts families at risk of further displacement. Some IDPs have started the reconstruction process. However, access to funds, as stated by 69% of the ones who started reconstruction, is the main obstacle hindering those IDPs from completing their houses. For Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (WASH), the findings show there is a high dependency on private vendors for drinking water, while a considerable percentage of the surveyed IDPs do not have water tanks to properly store this potable water. Most of the surveyed IDPs expressed that displacement has been a cause of an increase in Gender Based Violence (GBV) and that services for psychosocial support are not available for the majority of adults and children. For the economic situation, the assessment shows that roughly 83% of IDP families are obtaining their food on credit while, 64% of the surveyed heads of households are not working.

The findings also shed light on displacement trends and emergency preparedness, with 95% of the surveyed IDPs stating that they would choose to move to bigger cities in the event of a new emergency. The assessment highlights a key issue with Communication with Communities (CwC), as the findings show that the majority of IDPs are not aware of the location of the closest Designated Emergency Shelter (DES) to their current accommodation.

Key recommendations include: for shelter actors to prioritize the most vulnerable; for local actors and the international community to continue to look for solutions to the deteriorating water supply, and provide evidence for international advocacy; for protection actors to assess further the protection risks faced by IDPs including GBV and child protection; for humanitarian actors to give special consideration to livelihoods activities; and for all actors to improve and reinforce communication strategies with communities.

Temporary humanitarian assistance is essential to preserve lives and dignity of the affected population, but these assessment findings also underpin the need to re-orient humanitarian interventions towards the achievement of durable solutions for IDPs in Gaza. Otherwise, displacement will stay a reality for the years to come, especially for the most vulnerable cases.