A Palestinian woman and her children in a refugee camp in the blockaded Gaza Strip. (Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
The Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Lynn Hastings, launched on Thursday a $510 million Humanitarian Response Plan to support 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people in Gaza and in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during 2022, according to a press release.
Senior personnel of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations engaged in an open discussion with the public during the launch.
“Dozens of humanitarian organizations stand ready to implement the Plan’s 193 projects,” said Hastings. “Together, we will work to protect the rights of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, increase access to quality basic services, and support capacities of vulnerable Palestinians to cope with and overcome the impacts of the protracted crisis including coping with prolonged stress. Sustained funding is needed to prevent further deterioration, but to see a decrease in needs, political solutions to this protracted crisis must be secured.”
OCHA said that the needs analysis on which the Plan is based estimates two in every five Palestinians will require some sort of humanitarian assistance in 2022. Some 64 percent of them, or 1.3 million people, live in Gaza, where the majority of interventions will be implemented. The Plan covers Gaza, East Jerusalem, Area C of the West Bank and H2 in Hebron, and will complement efforts made by the Palestinian authorities.
In Gaza, the analysis found the Israeli blockade, the internal Palestinian divide, and recurrent escalations all fuel dependency on assistance, keeping unemployment and poverty at 44.7 and 59.3 percent respectively. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli policies such as illegal settlements, demolitions and evictions, which may result in the forcible transfer of people, together with the denial of basic rights and freedoms, contribute to the continuing needs.
The Plan will address Palestinians’ need for improved food security, health, protection against rights violations, education, shelter, water, hygiene, and sanitation.
A protracted protection crisis facing women, men, boys and girls continues in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), leaving many Palestinians struggling to live a life with dignity. It is driven by Israel’s military occupation, including the blockade on the Gaza Strip, insufficient respect for international law, and recurrent Israeli escalations, and movement crackdowns.