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Social Development, UN coordinator launch 2019 humanitarian plan

Dec. 17, 2018 1:47 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 17, 2018 1:48 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Minister of Social Development, Ibrahim al-Shaer, and UN Development and Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine, Jamie McGoldrick, have launched a new humanitarian plan for the Occupied Palestinian Territory for 2019.

The 2019 plan would allocate 350 million USD to help 1.4 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem, targeted as most in need of food, protection, healthcare, shelter, water and sanitation.

Al-Shaer said, in a statement, that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are still in need of humanitarian interventions as the humanitarian situation in Palestine continues to deteriorate. He added that the draw back in funding necessitated dome prioritization, but shouldn't impede constant efforts to enhance and protect the poor and marginalized groups, and to help them live a decent life.

Additionally, the needy groups should have access to the basic services of healthcare, education, protection, water, food, and shelter, added al-Shaer.

He reaffirmed the danger of politicizing humanitarian aid because that would undermine and threaten human rights.

He also denounced the immoral collective punishments imposed on the Palestinian people, which harm the very lives of poor and marginalized families. "We won't exchange the legitimate rights of our people with money and aid, and will continue with our hard work to end the illegitimate and illegal occupation of our land, which is the core of the problem. We look forward to having sovereignty on our land and natural resources to achieve independence and self-reliance," al-Shaer said.

The challenge, he said, is about how to best use available sources of humanitarian aid, and how to develop working tools and institutional arrangements amongst partners to guarantee completion and avoid interference.

The Palestinian government, he asserted, exerts efforts with partners to provide all possible help and services in marginalized areas especially East Jerusalem and Area C according to the Oslo Accords, despite limitations and obstacles occupation makes to impede implementation of projects.

With regards to Gaza, he said the government maintained basic interventions including financial aid, emergency aid, health, education, and energy despite inability to fully operate in Gaza. "This catastrophic humanitarian situation" can only be remedied if the crippling Israeli siege is lifted, and the Palestinian government re-assumes its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip.

For his part, McGoldrick said the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to deteriorate depriving the Palestinians of access to healthcare, potable water, and means of living. At the same time, he added, humanitarian actors in the Palestinian Territory faced record-low funding levels this year, with ever greater challenges to their ability to operate due to restrictions, political considerations, & attacks designed to de-legitimize humanitarian action.

This 2019 plan, he added, includes 203 projects to be implemented by 88 organizations of which 38 are national organizations, 37 are non-governmental international organizations, and 13 are UN-affiliated agencies.

Around 77 per cent of the money is needed in the Gaza Strip after the humanitarian situation terribly deteriorated since March 30, 2018 due to the huge number of Palestinian victims during demonstrations in Gaza.
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