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The crisis and the response
Gaza remains in chronic humanitarian crisis. Closed borders mean extreme difficulty in obtaining food and basic supplies.
Gazan population is now even more dependent on humanitarian aid.
Conditions in the West Bank improved slightly in 2009 but the separation wall further limited Palestinians’ access to land and livelihoods.
Despite intensive shuttle diplomacy there is limited hope for either inter-factional reconciliation or results from direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
Generous donor response to the 2009 CAP resulted in world’s highest per capita assistance: 22 new donors contributed.
Only a limited share of the US$4.5 billion pledged for humanitarian and reconstruction needs in Gaza was disbursed as funds remained unspent due to political constraints.
Donors shifting from general budgets to the highprofile Gaza crisis created emergency funding shortfalls elsewhere in the oPt.
Donors’ ban on contact with Hamas authorities in Gaza affected effectiveness of aid delivery and compromised basic humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Donors (with the exception of the European Commission) were generally criticised for allowing political interests to take precedence over the humanitarian need to jointly advocate for access and protection.
Operation Cast Lead caught many donors by surprise.
Donors were criticised for not doing more to fund organisational capacity, contingency planning and preparedness.
Key challenges and areas for improvement
Other donors should emulate the EC and jointly advocate for access and protection.
Donors should recognise that the blockade and the “nocontact policy” further isolates the Hamas authorities, increases their suspicion of aid workers and thus further shrinks humanitarian space.
Donors must reevaluate their excessive focus on projects to assist displaced Gazans, instead ensuring that all in need throughout the oPt receive aid.
Donors need to strive to maintain the independence, neutrality and impartiality of humanitarian aid.