Today, the Minister of Social Development of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shaer, and the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2018, to support the humanitarian needs of 1.9 million Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
The 2018 HRP appeals for US$539.7 million to address urgent humanitarian needs of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. If funding is secured, humanitarian actors will be able to enhance the protection of Palestinians living under military occupation, improve vulnerable people’s access to basic services, and support the ability of Palestinians to cope with and overcome crises.
“In recent years, lack of funding has led to unfortunate reductions in humanitarian relief for Palestinians in acute need across Gaza and the West Bank, including Jerusalem,” said Minister Al-Shaer. “We have also seen regrettable attempts to politicize aid work.”
“For the first time, this year’s humanitarian plan was prepared as part of a three-year strategy,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “This approach enhances connections with other strategies, including those related to development efforts, while increased respect for international law and longer-term solutions are pursued.”
The 2018 plan consists of 240 projects to be implemented by 99 organizations, including 51 national and 35 international NGOs, and 13 UN agencies. Approximately 75 per cent of the requested funds target Gaza, where humanitarian needs are highest due to Israel’s prolonged blockade and recurrent hostilities, further exacerbated by the impact of internal Palestinian divisions and Egypt’s restrictions on the Rafah crossing.
“Here, in Gaza, we have some of the worst affected Palestinian families. Our strategy has been tailored to help them and other Palestinians in the oPt as much as possible, while advocating for an end to the policies that are generating humanitarian needs, including territorial fragmentation and the blockade, among other issues,” Mr. McGoldrick added. “To succeed, we need not only the generous support of donors, which is critical to avoiding further deterioration, but also strong political action to bring an end to this policy-driven crisis.”
“Gaza teeters on the edge of a catastrophe,” Minister Al-Shaer concluded. “Humanitarian needs will deepen in the Gaza Strip, in both severity and complexity, as long as the illegal Israeli blockade remains. The Palestinian government is keen to build synergies between humanitarian aid and development cooperation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Overall, ending the occupation is the most direct, practical and durable solution for Palestinian grievances.”