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UN: $700m needed for "protracted protection crisis" in Gaza and West Bank

February 16, 2015 at 10:45 am

The UN has launched an appeal for $700m to meet the humanitarian needs of 1.6 million vulnerable Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

At a press conference last Thursday, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley urged donors to back the 2015 Strategic Response Plan, which would fund more than 200 projects covering housing, water, sanitation, and healthcare needs.

According to Rawley, “approximately 100,000 people are still unable to return to their homes in Gaza” while in the West Bank, “thousands more live in chronic insecurity, at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods as a result of demolitions.”

80% of the funding sought by the UN “is to provide shelter and non-food items and to enhance food security.” More than 75% of the requested funds target needs in Gaza.

Rawley added that “alongside the humanitarian response”, there is a need for “fundamental changes, particularly in Gaza.”

Describing the territory as “teetering on the brink of another major crisis”, Rawley said that “the fragile ceasefire needs to be solidified, the blockade lifted, human rights respected, and a political solution reached for the entire Palestinian territory.”

In a factsheet on the Strategic Response Plan, the UN says that the context in the OPT “is a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian consequences.”

Palestinians in the oPt face a range of serious protection threats related to these factors including threats to life, liberty and security, destruction or damage to homes and other property, forced displacement, restrictions on freedom of movement and on access to livelihoods, and lack of accountability and effective remedy. These threats are exacerbated by the inability of the sides to reach a political agreement, which could end the longstanding occupation and conflict.