Gaza situation report 150
21 June – 28 June 2016 | issue 150
Completed and ongoing payments as of 22 June 2016:
As of 22 June 2016:
Funding gaps and needs – repair works
For repairs of damages of all categories (minor, major and severe), the principal barrier to completing the outstanding repairs is funding. If current conditions remain, including adequate amounts of building material entering Gaza, UNRWA estimates that repairs could be completed within six months from receipt of sufficient funding.
As of 22 June 2016:
Funding gaps and needs – reconstruction
UNRWA has secured funding to reconstruct 2,000 totally destroyed homes. Funding is currently not the biggest barrier to reconstruct homes, rather it is the complex documentation requirements related to proving title to land, obtaining building and municipal permits and finalizing building design coupled with UNRWA vulnerability targeting. For all reconstruction, UNRWA prioritizes families based on poverty status (an excellent indicator for vulnerability in this context) and larger families, unlike other reconstruction actors in Gaza. In order to mitigate this barrier, UNRWA outreach engineers assist eligible families in gathering relevant documentation. With the increase in reconstruction momentum anticipated in the coming months, funding will become a key factor again in the near to medium-term future.
As of 22 June 2016:
Funding gaps and needs – rental subsidy payments
As of 22 June 2016:
Blockade on Gaza
On 28 June 2016, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon visited Gaza and met the 15 members of the UNRWA central school parliament in the Zaitoun Preparatory Girls B school in Gaza city. The meeting gave the students the chance to represent the Palestinian youth in Gaza to the top diplomat of the United Nations, and to the world.
Before the meeting, 15-year old Razan Al Daboos, the head of the central school parliament, said that she was looking forward to meeting Mr. Ban “because it gives me the chance to raise my voice and speak on behalf of the Gaza youth. We have been living under a tight blockade for nine years, and I want to directly raise our struggle to the Secretary-General.”
When the students finally met the Secretary General, Razan first explained to him the idea behind UNRWA school parliaments, their activities, plans, and their challenges. Her colleague, 15-year old Mohammad Kafarna, then talked about his personal experience living in Gaza, through three armed conflicts and under a tight blockade on air, land and sea. He explained to Mr. Ban how much the young people in Gaza live in frustration and that many of them are losing their hopes and dreams.
“We have high unemployment rates, closed borders, no electricity, no hopes, no dreams, and many people are sick and desperately waiting to get a permit to leave Gaza and get treatment,” Mohammad said. “As youth we believe education is our only way out. We don’t ask for more than to live in peace the same as other people do all over the world,” he added.
Mr. Ban expressed his pride about the school parliament and the issues they raised with him. He also told the students about his own life as a boy in Korea, when his school was destroyed and he had to study on the floor. “It was the UN that provided us with new schools so we could continue studying; and look, one of these poor children is now the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” he said. “You should keep working hard and maybe one day you will become Secretary-General as well,” he added.
Another issue raised by the school parliament to the Secretary General was about how Gaza’s youth can contribute to the development of the global society:
“As young people, we want to contribute to the development of the global society. Yet in Gaza, we are limited and we have difficulties to connect with others. What do you see as the role of youth in contributing to global development? And what can youth in Gaza do despite the limitations?” asked Mohammad.
The Secretary General said that the UN, together with the governments of Israel and Palestine, has been trying to find a solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict for over 60 years. “You must know that many communities and countries, and parliaments around the world, support you,” he said. And added: “it is important that you become good citizens and contribute towards development, security and peace in your own country.”
School parliaments promote a culture of human rights in schools and strengthen democratic practices and life among students. They also teach children civil and social skills, including leadership, participation, decision-making and communication. The electoral process helps students understand the values needed for practising elections, such as forgiveness, conflict resolution, dialogue and self-confidence. Parliament membership is open to students in grades 7 to 9, who can campaign using various methods, including banners and school radio broadcasts.
Summary of Major Incidents
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 74 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
Following the 2014 conflict, US$ 247 million has been pledged in support of UNRWA’s emergency shelter programme, for which an estimated US$ 720 million is required. This leaves a current shortfall of US$ 473 million. UNRWA urgently appeals to donors to generously contribute to its emergency shelter programme to provide displaced Palestine refugees in Gaza with rental subsidies or cash assistance to undertake repair works and reconstruction of their damaged homes.
As presented in UNRWA’s occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) Emergency Appeal for 2016, the Agency is seeking US$ 403 million to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in the oPt. The Agency requires US$ 355.95 million for programme interventions in Gaza, including US$ 109.7 million for emergency food assistance, US$ 142.3 million for emergency shelter assistance, US$ 60.4 million for emergency cash-for-work assistance, US$ 4.4 million for emergency health/mobile health clinics and US$ 3.1 for education in emergencies. More information can be found here.
Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. Israel prevents all access to and from the Gaza Strip by sea and air. Movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza is restricted to three crossings: Rafah crossing, Erez crossing and Kerem Shalom crossing. Rafah crossing is controlled by the Egyptian authorities and technically allows for the movement of a number of authorized travelers, Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases only. Erez crossing is controlled by Israeli authorities and technically allows for the movement of aid workers and limited numbers of authorized travelers, including Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases. Kerem Shalom crossing, also controlled by Israeli authorities, technically allows for the movement of authorized goods only.
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