Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the humanitarian state of affairs within the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is important and deteriorated sharply in 2020. It’s inflicting deep insecurity amongst Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Financial institution, together with Jerusalem. Is. This emergency attraction presents the responses wanted in 2021 to mitigate the impression of the disaster on this susceptible group.
In Gaza, Palestinian refugees grapple with excessive ranges of poverty, meals insecurity and unemployment, because the unlawful blockade entered its fourteenth yr in 2020. Financial indicators replicate the severity of the protracted disaster. The unemployment fee was 49 p.c within the third quarter of 2020.1 Though poverty measures fluctuate, the UN cites an 80 p.c fee and an estimated 10 p.c improve resulting from COVID-19.
The disaster has eroded the coping mechanisms and dwelling circumstances of Palestinian refugees who stay closely depending on humanitarian help offered by UNRWA to fulfill primary wants. The desperation and despair skilled by many Palestinian refugees, particularly younger folks, is fueled by repeated cycles of battle with Israel, instability, bans on journey to check or work exterior Gaza and lack of entry consuming water. The state of affairs weighs closely on the psychological well being and psychosocial well-being of people and communities, with girls and youngsters notably in danger.
As of December 31, 2020, 39,867 circumstances of COVID-19 and 356 deaths had been recorded in Gaza.2 Whereas the pandemic in Gaza was contained within the first six months of 2020, the primary circumstances of native transmission have been reported in late August, with rising numbers since then. This has put huge pressure on the already degraded public well being system, which has been weakened by years of shortages of medical personnel and provides. Colleges have additionally closed for lengthy durations and distance studying modalities have been activated to make sure continuity of schooling.
Within the West Financial institution, Palestinian refugees are a very susceptible group, with larger than common unemployment and poverty charges. They’re topic to a collection of threats of safety arising from the Israeli occupation. In 2020, the Israeli safety forces (ISF) staged operations usually, usually in refugee camps, leading to accidents and typically deaths. Violence by Israeli settlers towards Palestinians additionally continued.
Threats of safety have elevated dramatically within the wake of the pandemic. Within the first 9 months of 2020,
UNRWA has recorded a worrying improve within the variety of govt summaries of demolitions of Palestinian-owned constructions, in addition to the displacement of Palestinian households, with refugees disproportionately affected. Restrictions on freedom of motion, the enlargement of unlawful Israeli settlements and the widespread publicity of kids to violence and danger of detention by the Israeli authorities additionally continued.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the general public well being system and the economic system within the West Financial institution.
As of December 31, 2020, the Palestinian Ministry of Well being (MoH) reported 114,709 confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 and 1,158 deaths within the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem. Massive numbers of Palestinian refugees have misplaced their livelihoods because of the pandemic.
This emergency attraction presents the responses wanted in 2021 to mitigate the impression of the disaster on this susceptible group responding to essentially the most pressing wants attributable to the occupation and COVID-19.
To successfully implement these responses within the Gaza Strip and the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem, UNRWA is requesting US $ 231 million to cowl the operational wants of this emergency attraction in 2021.