The impact of over 50 years of continued military occupation in the West Bank on the protection of Palestine refugees is wide-ranging. With the support of the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), UNRWA protection programmes continue to support Palestine refugees.
Through its protection programme UNRWA seeks to address the acute needs of Palestine refugees exposed to the risk of displacement and/or forcible transfer as well as those whose homes are damaged during military operations or due to settler violence. With a combination of cash assistance and case management, UNRWA provides support to affected persons and seeks to address immediate needs. The Agency aims to enhance the resilience of affected refugees, helping them re-establish their lives.
Many refugee communities throughout the West Bank are subjected to a coercive environment in which they face a multitude of threats. Highly restrictive planning environments, demolition orders, demolitions, limited access to basic services (electricity, water, etc.), limited livelihood resources and also at times, intimidation are part of everyday life for refugee communities in the West Bank. In 2017, several refugee communities in the West Bank, e.g. Khan al-Ahmar and Jabal al-Baba in Area C and Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, witnessed noticeable intensification of this coercive environment.
The UNRWA Crisis Intervention Unit, supported by European Union humanitarian funding, provides assistance to Palestine Refugees who are forcibly evicted from their homes or had their home demolished.
EU AND UNRWA – TOGETHER FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES
Since 1971, the European Union and UNRWA have maintained a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East. Today, the European Union is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees. This reliable and predictable support from the European Union enables UNRWA to provide core services to more than 5.4 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, including quality education for roughly half a million children and primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients.
Collectively, the EU and its Member States are also among the largest contributors to the Agency’s humanitarian emergency appeals and projects in response to various crises and specific needs across the region. The partnership between the European Union and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestine refugees to be better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, thus contributing to the development of the entire region.