occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
- Coordination of humanitarian response in Gaza under the HC leadership in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead.
- Support for successful cluster roll-out as part of efforts to strengthen inter-agency cooperation.
- Key role as service provider, notably with introduction of 24/7 hotline on access issues, which led to a reduction in access incidents experienced by humanitarian community.
- Enhanced participation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the 2010 CAP, helping ensure improved linkages between the CAP and the PA’s longer-term development strategies.
In 2009, OCHA’s efforts focused on strengthening operational coordination in a still volatile context in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead. The formal establishment of key clusters in January (Protection, Health, Education and WASH), followed by others in March, led to improved needs assessments, analysis and planning.
While the effectiveness of some clusters still remains uneven, important progress was made, particularly in inter-cluster coordination, around key issues such as humanitarian response in Gaza, West Bank and Area C.
OCHA oPt maintained its presence in the field with four offices in Jerusalem and the West Bank, while it strengthened the sub-office in Gaza through new personnel. This enabled OCHA to improve operational coordination at field level and strengthen day-to-day coordination with municipalities in the West Bank. OCHA developed response strategies and response plans to address humanitarian concerns in Area C and east Jerusalem, while the humanitarian community agreed on the framework for the provision of assistance in Gaza.
A key priority for OCHA was improving strategic planning and coordination on access and protection, which have presented serious challenges. A hotline on access was among the services introduced to help improve monitoring and reduce the number of access incidents. On protection, OCHA supported the Protection Cluster and chaired the Displacement Working Group, which began implementing a coordinated prevention and response strategy on protection issues.
The revised CAP 2009 for oPt was $805 million, and 78 per cent funded. OCHA’s emphasis on dialogue with different parties for 2010 led to improved coordination with the PA and the donor community. The PA was closely consulted on drafting the CAP 2010, with ministry representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Development taking part in cluster/sector assessments and planning.
This helped avoid duplication, fill strategic gaps in assistance and ensure adequate linkages between the CAP and long-term national priorities. OCHA and ECHO now co-chair a newly established coordination group. Plans to further improve monitoring and evaluation systems on humanitarian assistance have been drawn up in advance of the next CAP. The HCT met monthly to coordinate humanitarian relief and discuss operational and advocacy issues affecting the humanitarian community in oPt.
OCHA also chaired the HCT’s Advocacy Working Group. During the year, this group developed and implemented an advocacy strategy on the Gaza blockade, organizing four media events and preparing statements and fact sheets.
The group was also responsible for developing HCT common messaging on the Goldstone report and developing advocacy steps on the Sheikh Jarrah evictions. OCHA continued to produce its regular reports and maps on protection, movement and access, which are shared with Palestinian, Israeli and international media, humanitarian actors and decision makers.
The HRF expanded its donor base from three to seven donors and increased in size, with over $5.1 million in funding provided to 35 projects. This compares with $2.1 million covering 16 projects in 2007 and 2008 combined. The increase in 2009 was mainly a result of humanitarian projects set up in response to needs in Gaza following Operation Cast Lead and in the West Bank following the drought. With a balance of over $7 million at the beginning of 2010, the HRF is well placed to respond to an unforeseen emergency of similar scale to Operation Cast Lead. The HRF operated through the cluster system, with cluster leads acting as an integral part of the HRF’s governance structure, while agencies seeking funding coordinated with relevant clusters before submitting project applications. The HRF still required a permanent manager in place to ensure continuity in its management and administration.
The 2010 CAP (prepared in 2009) specified that gender analysis would be incorporated into programme design and the selection of beneficiaries. The GenCap Advisor provided advice to the different units within OCHA oPt and the field offices on how to incorporate gender analysis into their work. Under the guidance of the gender task force, the GenCap Adviser developed checklists for each sector/cluster based on a gender needs assessment in the aftermath of the Gaza crisis. However, these checklists were not used by CAP vetting panels to establish whether the CAP gender criterion had been met. OCHA will therefore aim to improve understanding of how to apply the gender criterion for the development of the CAP 2011. The office reviewed and provided comments on an initial draft of the proposed IASC gender marker to track gender allocations in the CAP.