US$348 million plan to address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians launched

Joint Press Release, Ramallah, 11 December 2019

Today, the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, and the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2020 in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

“The Palestinians are living in an abnormal situation caused by the occupation and the lack of access to their resources. This humanitarian plan is important and intersects with national priorities and government plans,” said the Prime Minister. “Thanks to the UN, its NGO partners, and the donors for what they offer to improve the difficult humanitarian situation, especially in the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. It is imperative that we link relief to development, and that these plans have a political frame, based on international law.”

“Years of occupation, including the ongoing blockade of Gaza, internal divisions, and violations of international law, have left one in every two Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “Our plan for 2020 prioritizes aid to those in greatest need. It is critical that the international community strongly supports the plan, while working towards the political solutions required to reduce humanitarian need in the oPt over the long-term.”

In the final year of the 2018-2020 multi-year humanitarian response strategy, the 2020 plan encompasses 199 projects that will be implemented by 85 organizations, including 43 national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 32 international NGOs, and 10 UN agencies.

About 76 per cent of the requested funds target Gaza, where the situation remains extremely fragile: despite some improvement in the economy in 2019, unemployment has risen, with almost half the population unemployed; nearly half the population lives below the poverty line of $5.5 per day and an estimated 62 per cent of households are food insecure; while electricity supply improved during 2019, the quality of basic services, including health care and water supply, remains poor.

In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, settlement activity and related violence, loss of land, destruction of property and movement restrictions, impede access to basic services and livelihoods for Palestinians, and contribute to a coercive environment that places pressure on many Palestinians to leave their communities.

Needs will be addressed in 2020 through multisector efforts that aim to protect the rights of Palestinians living under occupation, provide access to basic services for the most vulnerable, and support their ability to cope with the effects of the crisis, while more sustainable solutions are sought.