The Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin | December 2018

$190 million reduction in the 2019 humanitarian appeal to maximize the impact of limited funding in increasingly restrictive environment. Almost one quarter of INGOs surveyed in late 2018 reported deligitimization forcing them to change or halt programmes. Over 1,800 women and girls injured at the Gaza demonstrations can face more severe consequences than male counterparts. Eight Palestinians and two Israelis killed in serious escalation in violence in West Bank in December; related access restrictions in Ramallah area remain.

In this document

On 17 December 2018, the humanitarian community in the oPt launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2019, an appeal for $350 million to fund assistance and protection for 1.4 million Palestinians identified as the most vulnerable. This appeal is significantly smaller than the 2018 HRP (almost $540 million), despite the fact that the level of humanitarian need, particularly in the Gaza Strip, increased. As elaborated in this Bulletin, the reduction reflects an attempt to prioritize the most urgent needs in the face of record low funding levels during 2018 and ever greater challenges to the ability of humanitarian agencies to operate, along with a recognition that these constraints are not likely to improve in the foreseeable future.

The impact of violence and casualties incurred during Gaza’s Great March of Return (GMR) demonstrations differs by sex due to social norms. Between May and June 2018, UNFPA carried out a rapid assessment to identify the specific impact of the GMR on Palestinian women and girls. It consisted of five focus discussions and ten in-depth structured interviews. Each focus group was composed of women who participated in or were directly affected by the demonstrations, along with female representatives of institutions providing social services to women.

About 2.5 million Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), or approximately half of the population, are identified as in need of humanitarian assistance and protection according to the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). Of these, 1.4 million, identified as the most vulnerable, are to be targeted in 2019 by a range of interventions outlined in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) at a total cost of US$350 million. The 2019 HRP was launched jointly by Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator, with the Minister of Social Development of the State of Palestine, Dr. Ibrahim Al Shaer, in Ramallah on 17 December.

Attempts to delegitimize humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in the oPt, particularly NGOs, have been on the rise in recent years. This has a negative impact on the ability of these organisations to deliver assistance and advocate on behalf of Palestinian rights. The situation is further compounded by longstanding access restrictions imposed on humanitarian staff and operations, restrictive legislation and attacks on human rights defenders. The shrinking of the operational space available for humanitarian work as a result of these pressures has contributed to the reduction of the 2019 humanitarian appeal for the oPt.