Mid Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for occupied Palestinian territory 2008
During the first five months of 2008, the overall humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continued to deteriorate, notwithstanding slight improvements in some sectors.
The humanitarian situation is particularly desperate in the Gaza Strip, where the already fragile space for human rights and dignity is narrowing. Palestinians in Gaza are confronted with interference in their normal social and political lives and also daily degradations like reduced access to water, electricity, proper sanitation and garbage collection, and adequate health care. They face increased violence and casualties, extended closures of crossings, severe limitations on basic supplies, shortages of spare parts, raw materials, and other commercial and agricultural supplies, and an overall economic contraction. The private sector is virtually paralysed and the physical and administrative divisions between Gaza and the West Bank and East Jerusalem remain in place.
Severe shortages of fuel and electricity due to Israeli restrictions, compounded by militant attacks on crossings, have exacerbated an already grave situation. Over 70% of households continue to be reliant on aid. There has also been a significant increase in Palestinian and Israeli casualties, including a major increase in child fatalities among Palestinians.
In the West Bank, the humanitarian situation was affected by a slight deterioration in internal freedom of movement, which was reflected, inter alia, by the increasing number of closure obstacles and the continuing restriction for Palestinians using key roads. However, some progress was made in specific areas by the lifting of a few significant closures. Other factors affecting the situation in the West Bank are the drought and frost that occurred last winter, and the increase in house demolitions during the first quarter of the year.
The fact that food prices have increased significantly since the beginning of 2008 has also exacerbated the humanitarian situation both in Gaza and the West Bank, in particular amongst the most vulnerable populations.
Direct Israeli-Palestinian talks aiming at achieving a peace treaty on all core issues in 2008 continued, however, no breakthrough occurred. The Palestinian Authority kept up its reform and development efforts, receiving strong backing from the international community. Some measures were partially implemented to ease specific movement restrictions and to improve the economic situation of the Palestinians. However, this development is unlikely to have a significant impact on humanitarian needs in the short term.
For the review of the CAP 2008, humanitarian needs in all sectors have been reassessed. The main conclusion is that the priority needs identified by the end of 2007 remain unchanged. However, taking into account the factors outlined above, the Gaza Strip has been identified as an increasing priority in terms of delivery of humanitarian aid. This Mid-Year Review (MYR) has resulted in a reduction of the requested funding in six sectors and an increase in the Food Aid and Food Security, Child Protection, and Coordination and Support Services sectors. The inability to deliver materials into Gaza, due to closures, necessitated a shift away from job creation projects towards direct food aid.
The overall request is nowUS$448,168,567, compared to the original requirement of $462,121,404, which is an approximate decrease of $14 million.
WFP, FAO and UNRWA, Rapid Food Security Survey in West Bank and Gaza Strip: Preliminary Findings, April 2008.
Note that at the time of writing, the negotiated truce between Israel and Hamas has not started yet. Its political, economic, security and humanitarian impact can not be assessed yet Figures and assessment provided in this
report reflect the situation as it was on May 30th, without prejudice of any significant development that could occur after this date.