Full Report

Executive Summary

In 2018, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) maintained the delivery of human development, protection and humanitarian assistance for registered Palestine refugees. This was accomplished through a collective commitment on the part of the Agency, its donors and refugee hosting countries. During the reporting period, UNRWA succeeded in providing over 85 million primary health care (PHC) consultations, education for 532,857 children (2018/19), social safety net assistance (including cash and food) for over 255,000 individuals, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for 7,564 youth and microfinance loans for 38,183 people, including 13,052 Palestine refugees. In addition, 1,138 families benefited from shelter rehabilitation or construction assistance and, in accordance with Agency protection and safety standards, UNRWA either constructed, upgraded or reconstructed six health centres (HC) and 16 schools. Protection assistance extended across all fields of Agency operation with a notable emphasis on advocacy and further equipping UNRWA personnel to deliver practical protection outcomes for Palestine refugees. Emergency humanitarian assistance was extended to 1.5 million refugees, primarily in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and Syria.

Throughout the reporting period, the provision of vital humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria and to Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon and Jordan remained a priority. Through available resources, the Agency was able to provide emergency cash assistance to 405,644 Palestine refugees in Syria and in-kind food assistance to 395,499. All collective shelters in Syria were evacuated and the remaining Palestine refugees residing there received support to find alternative accommodation. Decommissioned shelters were rehabilitated and re-opened as schools in time for the 2018/19 academic year. Through emergency appeal (EA) funding, UNRWA provided education almost 50,000 Palestine refugee students in Syria and rehabilitated and re-opened its schools in newly accessible areas including Sbeineh camp, Barzeh and Husseinieh. PHC was made available through 26 health facilities. Protection services, including legal counselling and psychosocial support, continued to be provided to Palestine refugees in Syria through five family support offices. The Agency also focused efforts on the rehabilitation of its installations in newly accessible areas, ensuring that Palestine refugees spontaneously returning had safe access to humanitarian assistance and services. In Lebanon, humanitarian support in the form of cash grants was provided for food, housing and winterization to over 28,880 PRS. During the reporting period, UNRWA continued to provide quality, inclusive and equitable education to 5,482 PRS children; PHC services through 27 HCs; and vital protection and legal aid services to 5,552 PRS. In Jordan, cash grants for

basic needs were provided to 16,602 PRS. In addition, 247 extremely vulnerable PRS families were supported through one-off emergency cash grants to help them absorb shocks and respond to specific protection concerns. Medical services were extended to over 15,200 PRS. The Agency also continued to provide basic education to 1,353 PRS and Syrian children in Jordan through a network of 141 schools.

In 2018, the provision of food assistance remained a priority in Gaza. With emergency funds, the Agency supported the food and nutritional needs of approximately 933,979 vulnerable Palestine refugees, including 18,116 female-headed households. UNRWA also provided temporary cash for work (CfW) opportunities for over 10,000 refugees, including 3,633 women. Under the Education in Emergencies (EiE) programme, schools were supplied with essential educational materials for 278,938 students. Health services were maintained through 22 HCs and 10,284 children with special needs received a comprehensive medical examination. In the West Bank, food assistance for vulnerable Palestine refugee families was provided through a variety of modalities. In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), e-vouchers were provided to 45,887 food-insecure refugees outside camps while in-kind food assistance was extended to some 37,000 Bedouins and herders assessed to be food insecure or vulnerable to various protection threats. Emergency CfW opportunities were extended to over 5,900 food-insecure refugee households. Six emergency mobile health clinics improved access to primary health care for 78,762 people living in hard-to-reach locations while 11,162 were assisted through counselling and psychosocial support. Throughout the year, UNRWA also continued to monitor, document, report and provide emergency assistance to Palestine refugees impacted by protection threats in the West Bank.

In 2018, the Agency was confronted with an existential financial crisis, following the abrupt loss of US$300m – around a quarter of total essential funding requirements for the year – in planned funding from its largest donor who advised that the intention was to force the Palestinian Authority/ Palestine Liberation Organization back to the negotiating table with Israel. Through the global, ‘Dignity is Priceless’ fundraising campaign, coupled with emergency intervention reductions and internal cost saving measures that collectively avoided interruptions in the provision of critical assistance, the Agency was able to overcome the funding shortfall to keep services operational throughout the year. Despite the best efforts of the Agency to bridge the financial gap during the reporting period, certain programmatic adjustments had to made, as detailed throughout the 2018 Annual Operational Report (AOR).

Report Overview

The 2018 AOR describes Agency progress towards the attainment of the strategic outcomes set out in the UNRWA Medium Term Strategy 2016-2021 (MTS) despite significant challenges posed by the 2018 financial crisis. Building on efforts to harmonize results reporting and consistent with Grand Bargain commitments and principles enshrined under the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the AOR provides a holistic view of programming implemented by the Agency and consolidates the 2018 Commissioner-General’s Report to the General Assembly and UNRWA annual reports on the 2018 oPt EA and the 2018 Syria Regional Crisis EA. It also contains an analysis of progress achieved against programmatic and resource mobilization targets set out under the MTS common monitoring matrix (CMM) and the Agency’s Resource Mobilization Strategy 2016-2018 (RMS). The AOR details achievements and areas where targets have not been met. A series of annexes include results frameworks, risk registers and key statistics.

Results reporting is derived from the UNRWA Results-Based Monitoring (RBM) system which enables data collection and analysis against MTS strategic outcomes. The system also hosts monitoring structures for EAs, projects and other results frameworks used by the Agency. Data is collected and analysed on a quarterly basis at the field level and on a semi­annual basis through Agency-wide results reviews.

The AOR is the final report on operations carried out pursuant to the MTS for 2018. It was developed through inputs received from UNRWA Field Offices, Headquarters Departments, the Harmonized Reporting Working Group, principally donors, and the Sub-Committee of the UNRWA Advisory Commission. Agreed principles upon which the AOR is based are as follows:

Reporting takes place once per calendar year and is finalised by the second quarter of the subsequent reporting period.

Indicators, baselines and targets are based on Agency-wide internal monitoring arrangements (i.e. the CMM), EAs and the RMS.

The presentation of results data is complemented by narrative sections that analyse progress made towards the achievement of targets and the impact of achievement/ underachievement / non-achievement on the overall realization of MTS strategic outcomes, EA strategic priorities and RMS goals.

Results are disaggregated by field office and, where relevant, by sex, poor/non-poor and disability in accordance with UNRWA guidelines for defining disability, spatial distribution (camp, non-camp, urban, rural), and key age groups (e.g. youth).