Map of OPT

occupied Palestinian territory

Fast Facts

  • In the Gaza Strip, there has been an erosion of livelihoods and a gradual decline of infrastructure, including health, water and sanitation, and education.
  • The January 2009 hostilities resulted in a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
  • In the West Bank, a series of measures have improved access to and from the main urban centres.
  • But the overall number of closure obstacles remains extremely high (619 by the end of August 2009, compared to 630 in September 2008).
  • Approximately 28% of the West Bank is still designated as either “fire zones” or “nature reserves”, where Palestinian access is severely restricted.
  • Farmer access to agricultural areas isolated by the Barrier remains limited, deeply affecting livelihoods.
  • House demolitions in East Jerusalem have displaced families, and led to the deterioration of socio-economic and psycho-social conditions.
  • There are serious concerns about the continued lack of adequate protection for Palestinian civilians.

Humanitarian actors, donors, and diplomatic missions alike rely on OCHA for its wide and unique range of information and analytical products. These include, for instance: closure and 3W maps, weekly and monthly humanitarian updates, thematic reports that provide in-depth analyses of specific issues, online database, briefings and field tours. More importantly, OCHA provides leadership, guidance and support on coordination and policy issues, particularly the roll out of the cluster approach, CAP, chairmanship of the Displacement Working Group, management of the HRF and Gaza Response Activities Database (GRAD), and development of a principled and strategic approach to access.

OCHA is now seeking to build upon the successes of the prior strategic framework. During the past year alone, the roll-out of the cluster approach and deployment of designated cluster coordinators by agencies significantly strengthened humanitarian coordination structures in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). OCHA also chaired a displacement working group, focused on both prevention and response; and the HCT Advocacy Task Force was rendered fully functional. Meanwhile, the HRF became a critical tool for addressing emerging needs and urgent funding gaps. In 2010, these achievements must be consolidated, with particular focus on support to cluster lead agencies and inter-cluster coordination. Greater coordination with national partners will: (i) ensure complementarity with other planning mechanisms; (ii) improve mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues in the humanitarian response; and (iii) strengthen multi-sector responses.

Ongoing efforts will further ensure that linkages between humanitarian and recovery/development activities are maintained. In addition, OCHA will participate in United Nations system-wide planning and coordination mechanisms to ensure that an integrated approach takes account of humanitarian principles. Humanitarian agencies continue to face severe access restrictions, particularly in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. OCHA is taking the lead in supporting the HC in promoting humanitarian access. OCHA assumes the supervision and guidance of a team of United Nations staff dedicated exclusively to coordinate, monitor, report and sometime directly address access issues. In 2010, OCHA will continue to support the HCT in developing: (i) a more strategic and principled approach to access; and, (ii) implementing the framework for the provision of humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

In addition, an independent desk review of the oPt CAP between 2003 and 2009 further highlighted the urgent necessity to better structure and harmonize data collection methodologies (including the establishment of common baselines), analysis and monitoring. In sum, in building upon its achievements and responding to long-standing and emerging needs, OCHA will focus on the following in 2010:

  • Build upon coordination improvements resulting from the rollout of the cluster approach and the expansion of the HRF – including training cluster leads on IASC guidelines.
  • Increase participation of, and information-sharing with, the Palestinian Authority and national institutions. The aim is to ensure full coverage of needs and facilitate transition, where appropriate, to national systems/ programmes.
  • Strengthen coordination on multi-sector themes, such as population displacement and the effects of climate change. Support strengthened United Nations system coordination.
  • Increase alignment of, and information-sharing between, existing data collection and analysis mechanisms. The aim is to create common baselines to inform programming and agreed upon indicators for measuring results – including at CAP Mid-Year and End-of-Year Reviews.
  • Continued regular reporting on the overall humanitarian situation, and routine monitoring, reporting on, advocating for, and facilitating humanitarian access.
  • Develop policy papers on issues of concern for the HCT, including on humanitarian access.
  • Facilitate the development of an HCT principled access strategy.
  • Facilitate a strategic work plan for the displacement working group members.