C(2009) XXX final
on the approval and financing of a Global Plan for Humanitarian Actions in the Middle
East from the general budget of the European Union
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This Global Plan covers the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and refugees in Lebanon.
The humanitarian crisis in the oPt continues, within the context of unceasing fragmentation and isolation of the West Bank and the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip that exacerbated during the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) operation Cast Lead. Without any progress in the Middle East peace process, there are currently no solutions to long-disputed issues between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In the meantime, daily violence continues for more than 2 million Palestinians with settler hostility being on the rise and IDF incursions remaining constant. The core principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) are being neglected, thus placing the protection of civilians as a central issue in this crisis. Furthermore, the growing dependency on international aid and the unremitting deterioration of the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian population both contribute substantially to the complexity of this protracted crisis. The context in Lebanon is largely influenced by the situation in the oPt, although the sense of despair and resentment is even more widespread amongst the Palestinian refugee population in the country.
With one quarter of the Palestinian population considered food insecure, rising commodity prices and the drought of the last years, access to food remains one of the essential factors in the current humanitarian crisis. Henceforth, food assistance will be funded within the framework of this Global Plan, thus forming part of an integrated response to the deteriorating food security situation in the Gaza Strip and large parts of the West Bank. Operations will also focus on other urgent humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population in the oPt and Lebanon and will take the shape of cash-for-work programmes, water and sanitation operations, and the provision of basic health services. DG ECHO5 will also continue to pay specific attention to children, in particular through psychosocial assistance. As protection of the civilian population is a central problem in the oPt, support to protection initiatives will be enhanced so as to ensure the respect of both parties to the conflict's obligations under IHL. In Lebanon, assistance and legal aid for unregistered Palestinian refugees will be included in relevant programmes.
DG ECHO will also continue its support for the overall co-ordination of humanitarian aid through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). Close co-ordination will be maintained with other Commission services in order to ensure complementarity between humanitarian assistance and other programmes, notably PEGASE and support to Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon.
The successful implementation of this Global Plan will depend on access and security conditions which remain volatile and rather unpredictable.
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Document Type: Decision, Plan
Document Sources: European Commission, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), European Union (EU)
Subject: Gaza Strip, Humanitarian relief, Middle East situation, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem
Publication Date: 11/02/2010