CSP approved at EB November 2017 session.
The context of the State of Palestine has remained largely unchanged in the past couple of years, with the main challenges continuing to emanate from restricted trade and access, economic stagnation, high unemployment, and high rates of poverty and food insecurity, exacerbated by protracted civil strife and conflict. As such, humanitarian assistance has served to safeguard food security and is a major element in international and Government-led responses to tackle the multiple challenges faced by the State of Palestine by supporting the social safety net. Periodic armed conflicts in the Gaza Strip have affected its economy while restrictions in trade and access have prevented reconstruction and magnified the effect of shocks. The situation in the Gaza Strip is also affected by the internal political divide.
The latest national socio-economic and food security survey found 22.5 percent of the Palestinian population – 1.3 million people – to be food-insecure, 13 percent in the West Bank and 39 percent in the Gaza Strip. Vulnerable populations are categorized as either refugee or non-refugee. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is mandated to respond to the needs of refugees, with the Palestinian National Authority supporting non-refugee populations. Humanitarian and development actors, including WFP, support the Palestinian Authority in the provision of assistance to vulnerable segments of the non-refugee population.
The country strategic plan focuses on two strategic outcomes:
- Strategic outcome 1: Non-refugees, poor and severely food-insecure people – primarily in the Gaza Strip and Area C of the West Bank – have improved dietary diversity by 2022.
- Strategic outcome 2: State of Palestine institutions have enhanced capacities and systems to identify, target and assist food-insecure vulnerable populations by 2022.
Humanitarian funding for the State of Palestine is decreasing. From 2009 to 2015, funding for the Humanitarian Response Plan, an annual inter-agency humanitarian appeal, met an average of only 63 percent of annual requirements. In 2016, this coverage rate dropped to less than 50 percent, which translates into a decrease in funding of 30 percent compared with 2015. This has had a negative but relatively contained impact on WFP’s funding levels, which dropped by 13 percent between 2015 and 2016. Explanatory factors include tighter official development assistance budgets among government partners, resource prioritization towards other regional crises and increased fragmentation of resources resulting from growing competition in an expanding humanitarian community. WFP has nevertheless remained competitive, relying on a large base of long-standing donors and featuring among the largest recipients of humanitarian funds. However, the trend has been for medium and small donors to reduce their support, leaving WFP reliant on a single donor for the majority of its required funding despite having a base of 12 donors.
Decreasing support from donors to humanitarian and development activities for the State of Palestine, coupled with restrictions related to geographical targeting, selection of cooperating partners and transfer modalities, is having impacts on the implementation of WFP’s strategy and will need to be continuously monitored. The reliance on a single large donor will need to be taken into account.