ECHO Factsheet – Palestine – Last updated 10/01/2022 – Occupied Palestinian Territory

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introduction

The decades-long crisis in Palestine* has worsened the humanitarian situation of the population. They live in an increasingly compulsive environment made worse by COVID-19.

In the West Bank, Israeli settlement activity continues unabated. At the same time, Palestinians are prevented from obtaining decent housing and access to basic services.

In the Gaza Strip, escalating violence in May 2021 deepened divisions and led to a popular crisis. As a long-standing humanitarian donor, the EU is responding to the urgent needs of the population.

What are the needs?

About 2.45 million out of 5.2 million Palestinians are in need of humanitarian assistance. In Gaza, the blockade, renewed conflict and political divisions have paralyzed the economy.

Hundreds of Palestinians have died in the May 2021 violence, including children benefiting from an EU-funded program. More than 100,000 people had to leave their homes.

Over 80% of the population of the Gaza Strip are dependent on aid. They are caught in a cycle of poverty, unemployment and food insecurity.

Gaza residents have limited access to basic services such as medical care, clean water, electricity and few educational or economic opportunities. The COVID-19 restrictions have further worsened people’s living conditions and eroded their purchasing power.

In the West Bank, some 900,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, H2 Area and Area C — an Israeli-controlled area encompassing over 60% of the West Bank — also need better access to basic services like water and education.

Due to violence, intimidation and denial of building permits, their homes are increasingly being demolished and residents forcibly evicted. Violence and destruction have increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palestinian children’s access to education is hampered: schools continue to be destroyed or damaged, and students are routinely harassed on their way to and from school.

How do we help?

In 2021, the EU provided nearly €35 million in humanitarian funding for Palestinians in need, including funds to address emerging needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and recent violence in the Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, we support vulnerable families with cash and help them meet their basic needs. Our help includes protection, safe education for children and health care.

Improving care for victims of violence, including trauma care for the injured, is a priority. Our funding also helps improve water and sanitation. It also better prepares the healthcare system for a sudden surge in demand due to public health disasters, conflicts, or emergencies.

In the West Bank, specifically in Zone C, East Jerusalem and Hebron H2, the EU and several Member States are supporting a consortium of humanitarian partners. They protect communities threatened by destruction, displacement and settler violence.

EU partners provide emergency assistance, legal aid and access to essential services. We also help improve the lives of communities who are unable to access or improve basic services. For example, they receive protection and safe water sources.

The EU is committed to respect international humanitarian law and respect for human dignity. The illegal demolition of Palestinian homes, assets and aid infrastructure, and the forcible displacement of people are also condemned.

In both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, EU humanitarian aid helps Palestinian children learn in a safe and nurturing environment, despite their disabilities. COVID-19 has brought its own set of challenges, with partners exploring ways to ensure learning despite school closures and other disruptions.

After the pandemic, EU humanitarian partners on the ground quickly adjusted their interventions and stepped up infection prevention and control efforts.

In the wake of COVID-19 and the recent escalation of hostilities, the EU supported (i) patient screening in healthcare facilities, (ii) training of healthcare workers, (iii) and funded large shipments of personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

The EU has also helped strengthen health services so that basic primary and emergency medical services can continue. In addition, we have improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene for vulnerable communities.

EU humanitarian aid also provided cash transfers to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU supports a wide range of humanitarian partners in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: United Nations agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organisations.

Since 2000, the EU has provided more than €827 million in humanitarian aid to help meet the basic needs of the Palestinian people.

facts

2.45 million people in the occupied Palestinian territories are in need of humanitarian assistance

489,000 children face challenges pursuing education

8,000 internally displaced persons after the escalation in the Gaza Strip in May 2021.
(UN/OCHA)

EU funds for humanitarian aid:
Almost 35 million euros in 2021
More than 827 million euros since 2000

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