2019 IN REVIEW
This Annual Report presents information on the achievements of the oPt Humanitarian Fund during the 2019 calendar year. However, because grant allocation, project implementation and reporting processes often take place over multiple years (CBPFs are designed to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian responses), the achievement of CBPFs are reported in two distinct ways:
Information on allocations granted in 2019 (shown in blue). This method considers intended impact of the allocations rather than achieved results as project implementation and reporting often continues into the subsequent year and results information is not immediately available at the time of publication of annual reports.
Results reported in 2019 attributed to allocations granted in 2019 and prior years (shown in orange). This method provides a more complete picture of achievements during a given calendar year but includes results from allocations that were granted in previous years. This data is extracted from final narrative reports approved between 1 February 2019 - 31 January 2020.
Figures for people targeted and reached may include double counting as individuals often receive aid from multiple cluster/sectors.
Contribution recorded based on the exchange rate when the cash was received which may differ from the Certified Statement of Accounts that records contributions based on the exchange rate at the time of the pledge.
Humanitarian situation in 2019
A protracted protection crisis continues in the oPt, driven by Israel’s occupation, including the blockade on the Gaza Strip; insufficient respect for international law; the internal divide between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas; and recurrent escalations of hostilities between Israeli military forces and Palestinian armed groups. In Gaza, the humanitarian situation remains dire, as evidenced by high rates of unemployment, poverty and food insecurity, while sporadic outbreaks of violence are threatening to ignite a wider confrontation. In the West Bank, the rate of demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures and settler violence remain high, and many Palestinians, particularly in Area C, East Jerusalem, and Hebron city (H2), continue to face the risk of forcible transfer.
Across the oPt, some 2.4 million Palestinians will need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2020, the majority in Gaza.
The Gaza economy experienced a slight improvement in 2019, growing by 1.8 per cent, following a steep recession of almost seven per cent in in 2018. Qatar has continued to fund the supply of fuel for the Gaza Power Plant, which has more than doubled the average daily availability of electricity, improving the supply of piped and tankered desalinated water and water and wastewater treatment. Over 16,000 jobs have been created by UNDP, UNRWA and other UN Agencies, while the extension of the permitted fishing zone to 15 nautical miles along the coast in the southern area, and an increase in the exit of Palestinians via the Israelicontrolled Erez, are also positive steps.
Despite these developments, the overall situation in Gaza remains fragile. The Great March of Return (GMR) demonstrations continue, adding to the already high casualty toll and to the long-term health, disability and psychosocial caseload. Concerns about Israel’s excessive use of force during the demonstrations, along with the instrumentalization of Palestinian children by Hamas remain.
Unemployment in Gaza increased from 43 per cent in 2018 to almost 47 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, with youth unemployment at 64 per cent. Some 46 per cent of the population live below the US$5.5 poverty line and an estimated 62 per cent of households are severely or moderately food insecure.
There is also evidence of increased resorting to negative and harmful coping mechanisms on the part of vulnerable groups, particularly children, as shown in the rise in the school dropout rate, child labour and child marriage, and about 270,000 children suffering from severe, moderate or mild forms of mental disorders.
Although the humanitarian situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is less acute, growth in 2019 “is expected to slow to the lowest level over the last five years (1.2 percent), down from 3.1 percent in 2018.
Economic development is undermined by Israel’s direct military occupation, administrative and physical constraint, and by limitations on Palestinian access to land and natural resources especially in Area C, which makes over 60 per cent of the West Bank. Israeli settlement expansion continues, including in East Jerusalem,5 imperiling the realization of a viable two-state solution, which is compounded by more frequent declarations by Israeli political figures of formally applying Israeli sovereignty over significant parts of the West Bank. In East Jerusalem and Area C, a restrictive and discriminatory planning regime make it virtually impossible for Palestinians to develop adequate housing and infrastructure: To end-October, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 481 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 620 people, on the grounds of lack of permits, compared to 345 structures, displacing 315 people, in the equivalent period in 2018.
Demolition and threat of demolition of homes, schools and livelihoods; denial of service infrastructure; access restrictions on farming and grazing land; poor law enforcement on violent settlers; and revocation of residency rights, among others, create a coercive environment, which generates pressure on Palestinians to leave their communities. The trend in the increase of settler violence incidents in 2019 vis-a-vis preceding years also continued, with 231 incidents carried out by Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian casualties (two fatalities and 74 injuries) or in property damage up to end September 2019, which, as a monthly average, represents a 12 and 100 per cent increase, compared with 2018 and 2017 respectively
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.