Posted on 24 May 2018

oPt Humanitarian Fund releases US$3.9 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territory

Today, the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF) announced the release of US$3.9 million to address urgent water, sanitation, shelter and protection needs in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Over 75 per cent of the allocation targets needs in the Gaza Strip, where the already dire humanitarian situation has been exacerbated since 30 March 2018 due to a massive rise in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations.

“The humanitarian response to the crisis in the oPt is among the worst-funded globally this year,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick. “With this allocation, we ensure that humanitarian partners have the resources to respond to some of the most urgent needs, but this is a stop-gap measure only and much more is needed.”

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires $540 million in funding, is currently only 16 per cent funded, far below the global average of 27 per cent. The oPt HF allocation aims to support highly vulnerable Palestinians: in Gaza, projects will improve access to water and sanitation services, where these systems are on the verge of collapse, and upgrade housing for people displaced by the 2014 escalation of hostilities. Projects will also prevent further deterioration of critical child protection, mental health and psychosocial services as well as support survivors of gender-based violence. In the West Bank, the oPt HF support will ensure that some of the most vulnerable families in Area C and the H2 area of Hebron, who suffer from discriminatory planning practices or tight restrictions on movement, have access to safe water and appropriate shelter. In total, 13 projects will be implemented by national and international non-governmental organizations.

The oPt HF is an emergency pooled fund supported in 2017 and 2018 by Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. It is managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on behalf of the Humanitarian Coordinator to support the delivery of strategic humanitarian responses identified under the Humanitarian Response Plan as well as to support responses to unforeseen events. This allocation brings the total amount of oPt HF support to Gaza since the recent deterioration beginning on 30 March to $5.2 million.

“Humanitarian assistance can be a vital stabilizing factor during crises,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “But without adequate, predictable funding for the humanitarian appeal, relief organizations are unable to plan interventions properly and ensure that aid reaches those in need, exacerbating the fragility of the present situation.”

“In the current context of a deteriorating political climate, with a worsening humanitarian situation, the lack of resources available for relief efforts should be cause for serious alarm,” concluded Mr. McGoldrick.


Standard allocation

The objectives of this allocation are to:

  1. Support highly vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank to access water and sanitation where these systems are on the verge of collapse or are otherwise inaccessible and will be imminently further exacerbated by the onset of the summer season. Families in highly vulnerable communities who do not have adequate shelter will also be supported to prepare for the summer season.
  2. End displacement for as many families in Gaza as possible, within the funding and time allowed, by simultaneously providing temporary support and durable solutions to families in Gaza still displaced by the 2014 hostilities.
  3. Prevent further collapse of critical child protection, mental health and psychosocial services and gender-based violence support in the Gaza Strip, as conditions there deteriorate further in the first half of 2018.

The oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) is a multi-donor humanitarian financing instrument established by the Emergency Relief Coordinator and managed by OCHA at the country level under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator.