Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for occupied Palestinian territory 2012
The first six months following the publication of the 2012 Consolidated Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) were characterized by continued deadlock in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The prolonged absence of a credible political horizon and the severe financial pressures on the Palestinian Authority (PA), compounded by the continuous fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), are increasingly compromising the viability and achievements of the state-building efforts.
At mid-year, most of the features of the Israeli occupation remain in place and consequently the humanitarian needs in oPt have not fundamentally changed. Nevertheless, the stagnation on the political front and the PA financial crisishave been accompanied by two worrying trends reflecting the vulnerability of parts of the Palestinian population, as well as a potential source of greater instability. Compared to 2011, clashes during demonstrations and protests resulted in an almost two-fold increase in the number of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces. The second worrying trend relates to the 34% increase in demolitions of Palestinian structures built in Area C of the West Bank without Israeli-issued permits. This has resulted in a larger number of people being displaced, compared to the already elevated monthly average in the previous year. At the same time, various Israeli official initiatives have been introduced to legalize, under Israeli law, settlements and their outposts. These initiatives contribute to the entrenchment of settlements and the ongoing lack of accountability for settler violence that further adds to the vulnerability of Palestinians. In Gaza, Israeli authorities continue to impose the land, sea and air blockade with no major changes in the nature and severity of the restrictions. Additionally, in the beginning of the year a sharp decline in the amount of fuel brought into Gaza from Egypt via the tunnels led to severe disruptions in the fuel and electricity supplies. Few clashes between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian armed factions in Gaza were recorded at the end of 2011 and this calm was maintained during most of the first semester of 2012. Nevertheless, the situation in Gaza remains fragile, with potential for a new large-scale armed confrontation. In the second half of June, a new escalation in hostilities took place in Gaza and southern Israel, resulting in civilian casualties.
At mid-year, the overall requirements remain essentially unchanged, although some existing projects were either removed or requirements revised downwards, and some new projects have been introduced to provide for increased needs resulting from the rising number of demolitions in the West Bank. As of the end of June, the oPt Consolidated Appeal (CAP) 2012 is 63% funded, which is significantly higher in percentage terms than at the same time in 2011. However, much of the funding to date has been received late; consequently some cluster/sector targets have not been reached since many projects could not be carried out as planned. A number of programmes have had to be suspended or scaled back, reducing the number of targeted beneficiaries and the amount of assistance distributed. The majority of the funding received to date has benefited the larger UN agencies and international NGOs, while only a fraction of the $5.4 million requested by local NGOs participating in the 2012 CAP has been received. However, it is important to note that local NGOs are benefiting through partnerships with UN agencies and INGOs, which account for almost half of the funding received to date.
A key challenge for the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in the coming year will be translating inter-cluster coordination priorities into actual project implementation on the ground. The inter-cluster coordination forum has made significant efforts to re-focus cluster projects to better address needs and achieve a more holistic approach to humanitarian aid in the oPt. The two-year overarching humanitarian strategy (2012-2013) supports this endeavour and increases the effectiveness and accountability of the strategic planning process. Consolidated efforts are underway to bolster the monitoring frameworks, baseline data and harmonization of needs assessments that accompany the strategy.