In its appeals, UNRWA calls on the international community for funding to cover emergency services not covered under the Programme Budget. The Agency relies entirely on voluntary contributions to finance its operations, with donations made in cash, in kind, or through the provision of services.
Although modest economic growth was reported in 2011, the sustainability of this growth remains uncertain and evidence shows that the private sector continues to struggle to overcome Israeli restrictions that limit access to resources and markets in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In particular, the extreme restrictions on exports from Gaza continue to stifle the possibility of economic growth. As a result, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank remain extremely vulnerable to any reductions in aid flows, which further threaten the livelihoods of already at-risk families facing significant food security challenges and protection threats.
As a result of this ongoing emergency, a widespread protection crisis has also emerged, characterised by a disregard for human dignity and persistent violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The ongoing blockade, and restrictions on access and movement, continue to impede opportunities to move from relief to development assistance. These challenges have contributed to the current crisis, which has been exacerbated by increased demolitions, forced evictions, and displacement, in addition to settler violence in the West Bank and collective punishment for residents in the Gaza Strip. The refugees, who make up an estimated 83 per cent of the Gaza Strip and an estimated 37 per cent of the West Bank, often bear the worst consequences of this crisis.
The humanitarian consequences of this unresolved conflict and occupation remain acute; whereby, a significant part of the refugee population continues to rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs: 70 per cent of refugees in the Gaza Strip and 50 per cent in the West Bank.
Emergency Appeal, occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
Faced with a protracted emergency in the oPt, UNRWA continues to assist and protect Palestine refugees, including through delivery of emergency job creation, food aid, education and health services, as well as the provision of temporary shelter and water and sanitation services.
Overall, the 2012 Emergency Appeal amounts to just over USD 300 million, with 75 per cent covering activities to be implemented in the Gaza Strip and just under 25 per cent covering activities to be implemented in the West Bank. This corresponds to a 20 per cent decrease from the 2011 Emergency Appeal. As a result of the funding shortfall, UNRWA was compelled to prioritise its most urgent activities and improve implementation efficiency. The Emergency Appeal encompasses 11 interventions, structured around three strategic priorities:
- Promoting food security, which represents 80 per cent of the Appeal focusing on food aid, job creation programme, and cash assistance interventions
- Protecting refugees’ rights and access to basic services, which represents 16 per cent of the overall Appeal focusing on protection, operation support officers, emergency health, environmental health, emergency water and sanitation, emergency education (for Gaza), and temporary shelter (for Gaza).
- Strengthening emergency response capacity, which represents three per cent of the overall Appeal.
Barring an unexpected change in the humanitarian situation, the vicious cycle of unemployment, food insecurity and aid dependency will continue in 2012.
Urgent financial support required
Despite reducing the overall 2012 requirements, as of 18 April, only 18 per cent, or USD 55.3 million of funding, has been secured for this year. In order to ensure that both fields can continue the most basic and acute level of services, UNRWA requires a minimum of USD 43 million per quarter (on average) in Gaza and a minimum of USD 12 million per quarter (on average) in the West Bank. Unless additional funds are sourced quickly, UNRWA will be required to drastically cut services. As the sole provider of assistance to refugees, the significance of this possible cut in services cannot be understated. In Gaza, an estimated 68 per cent of the population are refugees; of which, 70 per cent are dependent on UNRWA emergency assistance. In the West Bank, an estimated 27 per cent of the population are refugees; of which, 50 per cent are dependent on UNRWA services.
Emergency Appeal oPt 2012 (PDF)
Emergency Appeal oPt 2011 (PDF)
Nahr el-Bared reconstruction and recovery
27,000 Palestine refugees were displaced from NBC and its adjacent areas in Lebanon in 2007, as a result of the conflict between the Lebanese army and a militant group. An estimated 95 per cent of the camp was destroyed. A major effort to allow displaced refugees to return to their homes is underway.
Relief and Recovery Appeal for Nahr el-Bared Camp (PDF)