occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Response Plan 2018
Health sector funding requirements for 2018
US$ 27 million for 2018 (health partners including WHO).
WHO funding requirements for 2018
US$ 5 million.
Beneficiaries targeted by health partners in 2018
Health partners will target 1.25 million people in 2018.
The humanitarian context of the occupied Palestinian territory is unique among today’s crises and remains directly tied to the impact of the Occupation, which marked its 50th year in June 2017. The prolonged conflict and violence have devastated public infrastructure, disrupted the delivery of basic services and undermined already vulnerable living conditions. These dynamics are significantly magnified in Gaza by the blockade and recurrent outbreaks of hostilities. Across the occupied Palestinian territories, one in two Palestinians will need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2018 and some 1.9 million people are at risk of conflict, violence and/or displacement.
Health sector situation
The health sector in Gaza has been severely affected by the ongoing blockade. This was exacerbated by an energy crisis, as hospitals are facing partial or full closure due to the lack of fuel. There has been a chronic shortage of essential and often basic drugs and disposables in Gaza’s hospitals. The inability to benefit from proper medications and supplies puts patients at substantial risk of medical complications and deterioration in health status. In addition, the continued restrictions on movement of patients and health staff continue to hamper access of vulnerable communities to lifesaving and quality essential health services.
The electricity crisis is also impacting the drinking water and sewage system in Gaza. Currently, over 1 million people in the Gaza Strip at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
In the West Bank, communities face severe challenges in accessing primary healthcare services. Whilst humanitarian partners provide some relief through mobile health clinics, many clinics face delays and disruptions in accessing the people who need these health services.
In East Jerusalem, hospitals are unable to cope with the influx of casualties during times of heightened conflict, and patients, visitors and healthcare workers in the East Jerusalem hospitals face a protection need.
Humanitarian Response Plan strategic objectives
Objective 1: Ensure the availability, accessibility and quality of essential health services to vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank.
Objective 2: Vulnerable communities and health facilities in the West Bank and Gaza are better prepared to respond to emergencies and reduce avoidable mortality and morbidity.
Objective 3: Strengthen health coordination, information and health protection with an emphasis on advocacy for the right to health to improve the effectiveness of lifesaving health response for vulnerable people.
Building the resilience of the health sector to better cope with the impact of the electricity crisis in Gaza (OPT-18/H/115870/122).
Reducing premature deaths and complications for people with diabetes and comorbid common mental health problems (OPT-18/H/115677/122).
Strengthening health information and coordination in a protracted emergency to improve the effectiveness of lifesaving health response for vulnerable people (OPT-18/CSS/115661/122).
As providers of last resort, WHO stepped-in to supply 14 public hospitals and 18 NGO hospitals with fuel, preventing the collapse of the health system in Gaza. This essential fuel supply sustained critical services and reduced the risk of preventable mortality of new-borns in the six neonatal intensive care units, intensive care patients and patients requiring haemodialysis twice or three times a week.
WHO provided essential disposables to the haemodialysis units in Gaza by procuring essential disposables for the units. This prevented the closure of the only paediatric haemodialysis unit in Gaza.
WHO procured US$ 2.2 million worth of life-saving medical equipment and drugs for Gaza’s hospitals. These drugs will be distributed to the emergency departments to serve some of the most vulnerable patients.
As the Cluster Lead agency, WHO established a Health Emergency Technical Working Group, comprising of key emergency partners. The objective of the Health Emergency Technical Working Group is to enhance emergency response planning, preparedness, and technical capabilities to respond to the crisis.
WHO trained a cohort of health staff and managers from key NGO partners and international organisations on analysing the disruption to the health sector.
In 2017 WHO received financial contributions to supports its humanitarian work in the occupied Palestinian territory from the Central Emergency Response Fund, Switzerland, the Contingency Fund for Emergencies and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.