occupied Palestinian territory
Over the past ten years, the percentage of Palestinians living in
poverty has moved from one in five to almost half of the population
as incomes have fallen and Palestinians’ assets have been
exhausted. Living conditions have been further eroded by the substantial
decline in the quality of health and education services, and the
inability of Palestinians to access them. A significant number of
Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been killed since the conflict
began in September 2000 and the experience of persistent fear and
violence will have a lasting effect on both populations.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian
territory (oPt) is a consequence of the conflict and the restrictions
on Palestinian access. Movement restrictions on Palestinians crossing
into Israel, where Palestinians have traditionally sought work,
tightened further in 2005 both in Gaza and the West Bank. Within
the West Bank, movement is restricted by approximately 400 checkpoints
and roadblocks – established by Israel to prevent militant
attacks into Israel. In addition, Israel is constructing a separation
barrier in the West Bank that juts up to 22 kilometres into Palestinian
areas causing further hardship. Although they are intended to address
Israel’s security concerns, these measures have devastated
the Palestinian economy and hampered access to health and education
The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will ease the situation inside
the Gaza Strip, but unless accompanied by an easing of external
access restrictions it will not result in substantive improvement.
Throughout 2005 the passage through Rafah terminal into Egypt was
heavily restricted. Israel also continues to maintain tight control
over the Gaza coastline; no fishing has been permitted along approximately
40 percent of the Gaza coastline. Unless the movement of goods and
labour is eased, the economic downturn will continue and the humanitarian
situation will worsen. Under current conditions, poverty is predicted
by the World Bank to increase to 56 percent by 2006.
Several localized factors – military occupations of several
Palestinian localities, confiscation of Palestinian land, and demolition
of Palestinian homes – have also had a major impact on the
Coordination of UN response has continued to improve, particularly
with regard to developing a more integrated approach and facilitating
better prioritization of activities. There has also been a more
critical look at the broader policy aspects of the humanitarian
response involving donors. The widespread support for OCHA’s
current role in oPt has continued and strong coordination mechanisms
have been established at both the local and central level. OCHA
has strengthened information systems and the improved geographic
information systems and socio-economic data have greatly enhanced
OCHA’s ability to provide a comprehensive analysis of the
humanitarian situation. The increased depth of analysis on key issues
such as closures has enabled a more direct and positive impact on
the policy environment.
Information is the cornerstone of OCHA’s ability to highlight
and alert the international community to pressing humanitarian concerns.
Specific focus has also been directed at Israeli civil society and
Additionally, OCHA’s field teams have enhanced its ability
to respond rapidly to emergencies through local coordination with
governors and mayors. Each team – comprising national and
international staff based in the region – plays a major role
in enabling access throughout the West Bank and Gaza through regular
and ongoing liaison with the Israeli Defence Forces in the field.
The objectives of OCHA oPt in 2006 are to: improve humanitarian
operational coordination through common analysis and priority actions
at the central and local level; coordinate advocacy on behalf of
vulnerable populations affected by the emergency; improve access
to better target areas and populations in need using information
management; and coordinate the humanitarian policy used by the international
community in oPt.
- Review sectoral strategies on food security, water, health
- CAP implementation monitoring on key sectors.
- Follow up on NAF (Needs Analysis Framework) research by identifying,
compiling and analysing key humanitarian indicators in health,
psycho-social, education, food.
- Monitor the humanitarian situation including coordinated joint
reports based on shared data.
- Respond to humanitarian situations specific to each Governorate
after military incursion.
- Carry-out contingency planning simulation exercise.
- Liaise with the IDF to ease movement restrictions.
- Refine the advocacy strategy document.
- Develop the UN Inter-agency Humanitarian Advocacy Group.
- Issue common advocacy statements on issues of concern in English,
Arabic and Hebrew.
- Report on the construction of barrier and closures to engage
with the Israeli authorities to ease internal access.
- Compile field information and develop maps on the construction
of the Barrier and access.
- Dialogue with donors and other policy think-tanks around the
- Formulate humanitarian policy and input to donor coordination
bodies/operational coordination bodies for discussion/implementation.
- Report on the protection of civilians.
- Monitor Bertini Commitments, Gaza access, closure and Barrier
impact to increase understanding of the impact of access restrictions.
- Number of agency participants in a common monitoring mechanism.
- Number and percent of functioning sectoral coordination bodies
as defined by attendance of principal actors.
- Number and percent of functioning advocacy coordination meetings.
- Number and percent of affected population provided with key
basic services (water, food, education, shelter etc.).
- Number of donors actively participating in the CHAP.
- CAP funding received by sector, in US dollars.
- Percent of funding obtained for NGO projects.
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
|Staff costs (US$)
|Non-staff costs (US$)
|Total costs (US$)
Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa, Iran and Afghanistan
The multiform region covered by the Dubai Regional Office is vast
and harbors a diverse set of humanitarian challenges that warrant
OCHA’s attention and coordination support. Earthquakes, landslides
and flash floods are among the most prevalent quick onset disasters
that regularly strike within the region, especially in countries
such as Iran, Afghanistan and in the Maghreb region. In addition,
slow onset natural disasters, principally drought, can affect certain
parts of the region, Afghanistan in particular. Environmental emergencies
and industrial disasters are another issue of concern, especially
in countries with large-scale petro-chemical industries. As seen
in the case of Iraq, these problems are often compounded by conflict.
Other important compounding factors that exacerbate the impact of
disasters are continued population growth, poverty-related vulnerability,
varying levels of early warning, preparedness and response capacity
with, in the background, the over-arching global issue of changing
In addition, various countries and territories in the region continue
to be affected by intricate and often deeply rooted political, religious
and other socio-economic challenges resulting in conflict, insecurity
and other forms of disturbance. These situations range from active
and violent hostilities to more low intensity conflict, stalemate
situations or fragile post-conflict settings. Whilst the specifics
and underlying causes of these situations differ, their distinct
common feature is that they all increasingly result in the suffering
of civilian populations and non-combatants and directly affect the
humanitarian service providers who endeavor to assist within a climate
of poor protection and disregard for International Humanitarian
Law. In addition, conflict, insecurity or a lack of political solutions
and settlements impact negatively on civilians through displacement,
impeded return movements of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
and refugees, and erosion or loss of socio-economic opportunities
and other coping mechanisms.
In this increasingly complex, often tense and politicized context
where the United Nations, NGOs and governments in the Middle East
share similar perception challenges, the strengthening of humanitarian
partnerships in and with countries, charities and other key stakeholders
in the region will be of key importance. This effort would help
address mutual bias and misunderstanding, further enhance humanitarian
efforts to reach affected communities and have more transparent
and accountable humanitarian aid. These new partnerships will aim
at strengthening dialogue and cooperation and should be based on
respect, equality and a common understanding of principles guiding
The establishment of the OCHA Office of the Regional Disaster
Response Advisor (RDRA) in Dubai (UAE) in 2005 was followed by a
decision to have this field presence develop into a Regional Office
(RO). This decision stemmed from the realization that Dubai could
serve as an important support hub and play a useful catalytic role
in a number of other domains in conjunction with the originally
envisaged RDRA-related activities.
At present the RO – MENAIA is mandated to cover and provide
humanitarian coordination support to 21 countries and territories.
Currently, OCHA has ‘country’ offices in two locations
within the MENAIA region (Jerusalem and Tehran) and provides support
in terms of personnel to the UN Missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In countries where there is no OCHA presence, the RO interfaces
with the respective UN Resident Coordinator offices. In 2006, the
objectives of the RO are: improved capacity of national counterparts
and the UN system in MENAIA region within the domain of natural
disaster and emergency preparedness and response; strengthened humanitarian
partnerships and networks in the MENAIA region; and enhanced provision
of humanitarian information and other support services.
- Backstopping, coordination surge capacity and emergency deployments
to OCHA and UN RC offices in the region as well as organization
and/or participation in needs assessment and exploratory missions
in conjunction with related training exercises and activities.
- Assessments and mapping of national and/or regional disaster
response mechanisms and coordination systems and the relationship
between those systems and the wider international disaster response
- Support and facilitate the drawing up of national and/or regional
disaster risk management plans with governments, UNCTs and OCHA
offices in the region.
- Early warning and humanitarian ‘scanning’ activities
for the MENAIA region including advice to HQ and other stakeholders
as to required action (deployment) and follow-up.
- Provision of timely information products on urgent and key
- Further introduction of various OCHA-managed emergency response
tools and various standby arrangements (e.g. UNDAC, INSARAG, the
OCHA-UNEP Environmental Emergencies Section, the International
Humanitarian Partnership) in the region through trainings, seminars
and other events with a view to increase participation, membership
and contributions of MENAIA countries.
- Serve as field focal point for the initiative to enhance Humanitarian
Dialogue and New Partnerships in the Middle East.
- Improve tracking of humanitarian funding flows within and from
the region and the initiation of a dialogue with governments in
the region as regards the various options for donor fund disbursement.
- Assess options for a web-based regional humanitarian community
resource in collaboration with the Dubai-based IRIN Middle East
service and other IRIN offices (e.g. Ankara, Islamabad).
- Number of national counterparts and UN staff trained on natural
disasters and emergency preparedness response and percent of those
trained that rate training as effective (through post-training
- Number of new humanitarian partnerships.
- Number of focal points at the national and regional level as
an essential component of the response to any major disaster or
emergency in the region.
- Percent of office positions filled.
RO – MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN
|Staff costs (US$)
|Non-staff costs (US$)
|Total costs (US$)