Fact Sheet: Shelter Assessments and Assistance Packages

11 September 2014
Fact Sheet: Shelter Assessments and Assistance Packages

Shelter Assessments

  • As part of their continued assistance to Palestinian families in Gaza, the National Consensus Government’s Ministry of Public Works, in partnership with UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) have commenced joint shelter assessments of damaged homes in the Gaza Strip.
  • The joint shelter assessments and assistance packages will help facilitate a transition period for internally displaced persons currently taking refuge UNRWA schools and elsewhere.
  • All affected families in Gaza will be assessed, including refugees and non-refugees.
  • Beneficiaries do not need to apply for assessments and assistance as has occurred after previous wars; assessments of all damaged homes will be undertaken simultaneously in all five areas of the Gaza Strip.
  • All assessments should be completed within 60 to 90 days.
  • There will be an opportunity for beneficiaries to appeal after assessments are complete.

Shelter Assistance Packages

As a collaborative effort between Shelter Cluster members, the National Consensus Government, UNRWA and UNDP, the following assistance packages will be offered to families whose homes are assessed as uninhabitable:
  • Rental Subsidy and Host Family Support Package: This builds on existing programmes already being implemented in Gaza. Upon verification of eligibility, families with uninhabitable homes will receive one of the following amounts per month based on family size.
  1. 1 – 5 receive USD 200 per month
  2. 6 – 10 receive USD 225 per month
  3. Over 10 receive USD 250 per month
  • Reintegration Package: This one-time support is for all the estimated 20,000 families with uninhabitable homes and is in the amount of USD 500. It is intended for non-food items to help get a family back on their feet.

Damaged shelter numbers and estimated repair costs

  • According to the Shelter Cluster, it is estimated that some 60,000 homes were impacted during the fifty days of hostilities.
  • 40,000 of these are estimated to have sustained minor damage or require modest repairs.
  • The estimated remaining 20,000 damaged dwellings are either destroyed or sustained major damage and are uninhabitable. It will take construction material and significant time and effort to rebuild or repair.
  • Funding for the shelter sector is desperately required to ensure that the displaced with uninhabitable homes are able to find alternative shelter before the onset of winter.
  • The Shelter Cluster estimates that under the current access requirements imposed by the Government of Israel, it will take twenty years to rebuild Gaza. The seven-year Israel blockade of Gaza has prevented much needed new infrastructure from being built and if it is not lifted at the conclusion of the emergency, there is a risk that it will dramatically impair reconstruction efforts.
Background Information: 

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. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.