Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for occupied Palestinian territory 2005
On the political front, there have been improvements since the drafting of the 2005 Consolidated Appeal (CAP). In the high-level meeting at Sharm al Sheikh in February 2005 between Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the two stated their intention to try to end the more than four years of violence between the two sides. Since then, the major Palestinian militant groups have committed themselves to maintaining tahdi’a (calm) for the time being. The Israeli government’s approval of the Disengagement Plan – to withdraw approximately 7,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip and 650 from the West Bank in August this year – is a further positive development.
As a result there has been a fall in casualties on both sides and a reduction in the number of house demolitions in the Gaza Strip. Movement restrictions around the West Bank have been eased by around 20% as of June 2005, but more than 500 checkpoints and roadblocks on roads remain.
There is yet to be an overall improvement in the humanitarian situation. Access to health services and viable livelihoods is a major concern for communities located close to the Barrier. Impoverishment continues to grow, with about half the Palestinian population now thought to be in poverty in 2005, rising to 68% in the Gaza Strip. Unemployment also remains high, with numbers increasing in the past two quarters.
The lack of real change in the humanitarian situation has meant that the planning scenarios outlined in the CAP remain valid.
As of 10 June 2005, 45% of the 2005 oPt CAP has been funded; a total of US$ 134,444,353 has been contributed or committed. The mid-year review led to a slight revision of some projects’ budgets, bringing the total amount requested for 2005 to US$ 295,769,484. Thus, unmet requirements for the remainder of 2005 total US$ 161,325,131.
While the overall CAP funding level is approaching half of requirements, funding has varied greatly between sectors. Food Security (46% funded) and Economic Recovery / Infrastructure / Emergency Employment (51%) alone represent 81% of the funds received or committed, i.e. US$ 108,827,404. The water-sanitation sector also shows an above-average level of funding (56%). Other sectors have been notably under-funded: Education (2%), Health and Psycho-social Support (9%), Coordination (29%). Within sectors, funding of projects has also been uneven: in the Education sector, only 3 out of 11 projects have received funds; in Food Security, 4 out of 13 projects; in Health 4 out of 30 projects; and in Water-sanitation 3 out of 13 projects. This pattern could undermine the overall capacity of the CAP to address its priorities and result in an uneven achievement of objectives among sectors.
Despite the political situation in the first half of 2005 remaining relatively calm, humanitarian needs are likely to continue beyond the next six months, predicating the need for another consolidated appeal to meet needs in 2006.