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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Haiti - occupied Palestinian territory

09 Jul 2021

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© OCHA oPt

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 9 July 2021

Haiti

OCHA notes that following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July, the situation is threatening efforts to respond to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Haiti, as well as efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, especially food and water, to people who have been internally displaced due to recent gang attacks.  

The assassination took place in a security context that has deteriorated since early June, following intense clashes between rival gangs in the western districts of Port-au-Prince, which have prompted thousands of residents to flee their homes. 

Response efforts to support internally displaced people have slowed, particularly food, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, owing to access constraints due to the current situation. UN Humanitarian Air Service flights were cancelled on 7 and 8 July, and the UN Department of Safety and Security has restricted road movements. 

It is projected that protection risks may increase under the current circumstances. Members of the Humanitarian Country Team are reviewing preparedness and contingency plans.

The International Organization for Migration and OCHA estimate that, as of 4 July, some 18,000 people were displaced in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, nearly 14,700 since the beginning of the gang clashes in early June alone. Humanitarian partners are currently drafting a strategy and budget to support the relocation efforts.   

Occupied Palestinian territory

Lynn Hastings, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, has issued statements on the situations in Gaza and in Humsa Al Baq’ai in the West Bank. 

The Humanitarian Coordinator visited yesterday to see what progress has been made since the beginning of the hostilities with Israel on 10 May. 

Ms. Hastings noted that the entry of goods through Kerem Shalom crossing has been limited to food, medical supplies, fuel, fodder, a few agricultural inputs, and other narrowly defined items.

The Humanitarian Coordinator emphasized that meeting humanitarian needs, including the resumption of basic water, health and sanitation services, and the reconstruction of Gaza cannot progress without the entry of a broad range of supplies, including equipment, and construction materials necessary to support those repairs and humanitarian activities. 

The UN estimates that 250,000 people are still without regular access to piped water, and that 185,000 people are relying on unsafe water sources or paying higher prices for bottled water. The agricultural sector, a main source of food and income in Gaza, is at risk, including the current planting season.

The Humanitarian Coordinator urged Israel to ease the restrictions on the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza, in line with Security Council resolution 1860, with the goal of ultimately lifting them. 

In her statement issued on the situation in Humsa Al Bqai’a in the northern West Bank, Ms. Hastings noted that the mass demolition and confiscation of properties by Israeli forces on Tuesday this week is disturbing.

She said that attempts to force this or any other community to relocate to an alternative location raise a serious risk of forcible transfer. While Israeli authorities have tried to justify this by citing their domestic designation of this area for military training, such measures by an occupying power are illegal under international law.