The Humanitarian Programme Cycle

The Humanitarian Programme Cycle refers to a series of actions undertaken in the management of international humanitarian response operations. These must be conducted, to the extent possible, in collaboration with and in support of national and local authorities.

Humanitarian Response Cycle

The actions in the cycle, described below, are inter-related and should be managed in a seamless manner using a coherent approach and a common set of tools.

  • Emergency preparedness is a distinct element of, and underpins, the entire cycle.
  • Timely, coordinated assessments and analysis identify the needs of affected people and provide the evidence base for planning the response.
  • Coordinated planning allows for the formulation of strategic objectives, what needs to be done to meet them, and how much it will cost.
  • Funding and other resources are mobilized for the system based on and in support of the strategic response plan.
  • Monitoring of agreed output and outcome indicators and the tracking of financial information demonstrates results and informs decision-making about the plan.

While implementation of the cycle should be flexible and adaptable to different country situations, it must at a minimum address the above elements. Whenever possible, it should support national and local partners, including NGOs, civil society and communities, and complement or build on existing frameworks; it should contribute to a response that builds resilience to future disasters.

More information on the specific elements of the HPC can be found here.

The Humanitarian Response Plan in the occupied Palestinian territory

The humanitarian community in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) has developed an annual humanitarian plan for the oPt every year since 2003. The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) primarily focuses on addressing humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip as well as in Area C and East Jerusalem of the West Bank, where the most vulnerable populations have been identified and where the reach of the Palestinian Authority is most limited.

Humanitarian assistance in the oPt aims to address needs and vulnerability mostly arising from the policies and practices linked to the occupation and the blockade. Those targeted for assistance are those most in need of protection, access to essential services and interventions that will allow them to cope with the effects of the prolonged occupation and shocks.

At a minimum, the HRP aims to protect the rights and stabilize the situation of the protected population until longer term development and political solutions are found. The HRP complements national and international longer term development strategies, such as the Palestinian National Development Plan and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

Read more on the latest Humanitarian Response Plan here.

Supporting the rehabilitation of Palestinians injured at Gaza border demonstrations

23 Jan 2019 |
Photo by Humanity & Inclusion

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Ahmad, a 14-year-old Palestinian, was hit by live ammunition at Israel’s perimeter fence surrounding Gaza during one of the “Great March of Return” (GMR) demonstrations in June 2018. He was injured in his right leg, close to the knee, and as a result he experienced difficulties in performing daily tasks, including walking and dressing by himself, and suffered depression. “I cried during the nights, because I wasn’t able to play with my friends,” he recalls.

Protecting vulnerable families in Hebron city

23 Jan 2019 |
Rehabilitation works at the Khatib family home in Hebron. Photo: GVC

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Israel exercises direct control over the 20 per cent of Hebron City, known as H2, which is home to approximately 40,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers living in five settlement compounds. Policies and practices implemented by the Israeli authorities, citing security concerns, have resulted in the forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron city, reducing a once thriving area to a ‘ghost town’. The living conditions of those Palestinians who remain in the closed and restricted areas have been gradually undermined, including with regard to basic services and sources of livelihood.

$350 million requested to respond to humanitarian needs for 1.4 million Palestinians in 2019

16 Jan 2019 |
A women injured in a demonstration at the fence in Gaza. © Photo by Women Affairs Centre.

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.

Helping women-headed families in Gaza prepare for the summer

20 Dec 2018 |
Miassar Zo’orb with family members, in front of their home. Photo by Secours Islamique France

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Miassar Zo’orb is a 48-year-old widowed mother who lives with four of her children in Khan Younis. She is the only breadwinner for her family, and her main income comes from humanitarian aid. Her home consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room, and it is footsteps away from the local waste dump.

Humanitarian Needs Overview 2019

17 Dec 2018 |
Cover of the Humanitarian Needs Overview 2019

A protracted protection crisis continues in the oPt, which remains largely attributable to Israel’s ongoing occupation, now in its 52nd year, the continuing internal Palestinian divide and violations of international law. After years of a relative absence of armed conflict since the 2014 hostilities, there has been a sharp deterioration in the humanitarian, human rights, security and political situation in the Gaza Strip in 2018. The health system, on the verge of collapse following years of blockade and de-development, is now overburdened with massive casualties from the ongoing “Great March of Return” demonstrations. The economy is in ‘free fall’ according to the World Bank,1 and poverty, unemployment and food insecurity are increasing, as are other core drivers of humanitarian need. For much of 2018, power cuts of 18-20 hours a day have impeded the delivery of basic services and crippled productive activity: since late October, the delivery of fuel funded by Qatar has provided a significant, if temporary, improvement in the electricity supply. Hospitals, water and sewage treatment facilities, and solid waste collection services are still reliant on UN-coordinated emergency fuel to maintain essential services. The coastal aquifer, Gaza’s sole water source, has been virtually depleted by over-extraction and the intrusion of seawater, forcing the impoverished population to buy trucked water, often of poor quality, at up to 20 times the expense of water from the network.2 There is a palpable sense of hopelessness and desperation among the population in Gaza, which is eroding coping mechanisms and resilience, while rising violence and tension are fuelling concerns of a renewed escalation of hostilities. This deterioration is exacerbated by significant shortfalls in donor support for the Palestinian Authority (PA), UNRWA and humanitarian operations in general, undermining the ability of the international community to effectively respond to increasing need.

Humanitarian Response Plan 2019

17 Dec 2018 |
Cover of the Humanitarian Response Plan 2019

The Humanitarian Response Plan for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for 2019 requests a total of US$350 million. This reflects a reduction by $200 million compared to last year. Overall, 1.4 million will be targeted in 2019, as compared to 1.9 million in 2018. This lower number in requested funding and targeted people does however not reflect a reduction in the level of humanitarian need in the oPt. On the contrary - this year has seen a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), particularly in Gaza, with recurrent outbreaks of violence and an enormous rise in casualties from the “Great March of Return” demonstrations.

Remarks delivered at the launch of the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan

17 Dec 2018 |
Launch of the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, Ramallah, 17 December 2018

By Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory (Ramallah, 17 December 2018): "The situation in Palestine continues to be characterized as a protracted protection crisis, and massive humanitarian challenges in Gaza in particular. And this is largely attributable to the ongoing occupation by Israel, of the West Bank and Gaza, the continuing internal Palestinian divide, I think, as well as violations of international law. It’s now being, I think, aggravated by the serious shortfall in funding that we faced this year, not just for UNRWA, but for the collective humanitarian community. Matthias will speak more on the actual UNRWA situation."

Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan 2019 | Dashboard

17 Dec 2018 |

Following a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory during 2018, some 2.5 million people have been identified as in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019. Despite the deepening needs, some 1.4 million people will be targeted in 2019, as compared with 1.9 million in 2018. This reduction is due to the unforeseen and historic shortfall in humanitarian funding for the oPt, and the shrinking of operational space for humanitarian action.

US$350 million appeal to address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians launched

17 Dec 2018 |

2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the occupied Palestinian territory targets rising needs amidst new challenges: 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 2019 in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).