Amount of Decision: Euro 7 million
Decision reference number: ECHO/-ME/BUD/2004/02000
1 - Rationale, needs and target population.
1.1. - Rationale
The present funding decision must be regarded as being complementary to previous decisions adopted by the European Commission, in particular the one of May 2004(1), insofar as it: a) addresses humanitarian needs, like shelter rehabilitation, that were not covered under that funding decision; b) addresses humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in Jordan and Syria that were not included in that funding decision; c) aims at providing further support (food for work/training, water and sanitation) to particularly vulnerable groups of people (Bedouins in the Gaza Strip; people affected by the construction of the so-called "security barrier in the West Bank, as well as by infrastructure demolition in the Gaza Strip that was carried out during the months of May, June and July 2004).
With regard to the overall humanitarian situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (WBGS) no substantial changes have occurred since the assessment made on the occasion of that funding decision whereas, as a result of increased violence on both the Israeli and Palestinian side, since then security has deteriorated and access issues further exacerbated.
The bulk of this funding decision is represented by interventions aimed at providing particularly vulnerable Palestine refugees living in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria with a minimum acceptable level of housing as long as no agreement has been reached on the issue of return in the context of a final settlement of the Middle East Peace Process.
Shelter rehabilitation was a sector identified among the priorities for interventions in the 2004 strategy of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office. However, no shelter rehabilitation has been funded so far for two main reasons:
1) Competing priorities emerging from the aggravation of the overall conflict situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (WBGS)
2) Discussion with partners, in particular with UNRWA, on common standards for shelter rehabilitation in the three countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria) were still ongoing.
Since conclusions and recommendations were agreed upon on the occasion of the UNRWA Conference held in Geneva on 07-08 June 2004(2), inter alia on the issue of shelter, it is now possible to include shelter rehabilitation in the current decision.
This funding decision also includes water and sanitation operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that are needed in order to complement ongoing activities, as well as in order to alleviate the consequences of damages to the physical infrastructure resulting from armed incursions by the Israeli Defence Forces.
In response to the 2004 United Nations Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for the occupied Palestinian territory(3), activities will be funded aimed at strengthening the food security and nutrition of vulnerable groups, in particular Bedouins in the Gaza Strip.
Given the continued spiral of violence there is a need to continue to provide support to protection activities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Finally, the present funding decision will allow for the maintenance of a technical assistance capacity in the field in order to ensure needs assessment, project analysis, implementation monitoring, final evaluations and co-ordination of the operations.
(1) "Humanitarian aid for the victims of the ongoing crisis in the Palestinian Territories, Palestinian populations in Lebanon, and refugees from Iraq" (ECHO/-ME/BUD/2004/01000, € 28 million), adopted by the European Commission on 13 May 2004.
(2) "Meeting the Humanitarian Needs of the Palestine Refugees in the Near East - Building Partnerships in Support of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near east)". The Conference was attended by delegates from 91 countries and organizations, with the European Commission represented at Commissioner level.
(3) The 2004 UN CAP for the oPt was launched in November 2003 for a total of $ 305 million. By mid- September 2004, less than 45% of the funding requirements were met. So far, the European Commission has contributed € 7.4 million.