The occupied Palestinian territories at a glance

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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.

Donor performance

  • 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.

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The occupied Palestinian territories at a glance

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