UNDP Response to the Crisis in the Gaza Strip - 2014
Overview of the situation
On the night of 7 July 2014, the Israeli army launched a large military operation in the Gaza Strip, the third one in 6 years, having resulted in the displacement of more than 400,000 people and in an unprecedented toll of human lives. Hostilities, still ongoing, also entail direct and large-scale destruction of social and economic infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, electricity, water and sewage systems, in addition to the severe disruption of the social fabric of the inhabitants of Gaza.
The humanitarian impact of these hostilities comes against a backdrop of close to a decade of heightened vulnerability and recurring crises in Gaza and calls for immediate efforts to provide relief and life-saving interventions, as well as setting the ground for immediate early recovery activities in order to ensure that humanitarian efforts can translate into short, mid and long term strategies of recovery and resilience.
UNDP Early Recovery Strategy
UNDP’s recovery programming goes beyond Emergency Funds, and is integrated with the Palestinian Recovery Strategy with the intention of ensuring sustainability of the recovery process and long-term benefits for the affected population.
The two year programme aims at creating conditions for enhancing resilience and sustainable development. The programme builds on both prior and current UNDP/PAPP engagement in the Gaza Strip, including extensive immediate work on debris/rubble removal and recycling, solid waste management, electricity and water as part of disaster management. It will also build and expand on existing interventions in support of institutional building and consolidation of local governments and ministerial departments. Given the prevailing context, construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure, and job creation will obviously be critical components of the programme.
The programme framework revolves around the following:
1. Infrastructure Assessment: UNDP will conduct a comprehensive infrastructure assessment to provide the Palestinian Government, UN agencies and partners with a broad platform for coordinating interventions and ensuring effectiveness.
2. Rubble removal and infrastructure: As both private and public buildings, as well as public infrastructure have been destroyed, the programme will build on UNDP/PAPP’s long-standing experience in infrastructure work in the Gaza Strip. It is important to note that UNDP/PAPP and UNRWA are currently the only institutions able to import building materials into Gaza, as per Israeli imposed restrictions.
3. Livelihoods: Enhancing livelihoods and helping people build their lives is at the heart of this framework. In order to ease people’s suffering, restore dignity and build resilience, urgent measures are needed to generate income and employment to the poorest and most affected families, while at the same time sustain the rapid employment programme through long-term strategies of job diversification.
4. Governance: The proposed programme recognizes the fact that in the aftermath of the current crisis, support will be needed to further build on political developments prior to the crisis, with a view to supporting the recently established government of national consensus and strengthen national cohesion.