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Tackling unemployment and displacement, the core challenges of the occupied Palestinian Territory

The situation has remained dire in the occupied Palestinian Territory with a surge of violence in the West Bank, especially in the second semester of 2015, and a continuous threat of displacement, and a slow reconstruction pace in the Gaza Strip with an economy heavily affected and the highest unemployment level in the world. In 2015, ACTED has brought throughout the West Bank and in East Jerusalem one of the most essential emergency assistance to Palestinians undergoing a shock by providing continuous response to their shelter, livelihoods and water and sanitation needs. ACTED also accompanied a transitional stream towards development through providing support to the youth economic empowerment throughout the occupied Palestinian Territory, notably in the Gaza Strip.

Providing shelter solutions to conflict-affected households

In 2015, ACTED has remained an important actor in the emergency shelter sector in the occupied Palestinian Territory. Indeed, for the fifth year ACTED provided support to 1,635 Palestinian, including more than 700 children, at risk of displacement in the West Bank through the provision of emergency shelters, along with agricultural shelter and equipment, latrines and water tanks. Over the first half of the year, in the Gaza Strip, ACTED provided emergency shelters to 500 households affected by the 2014 war. In order to ensure communities’ involvement and a better ownership, the kits’ distribution was voluntarily supported by ACTED’s large network of youth volunteers.

Giving to vulnerable youth the ability to tackle their risk of unemployment

Since 2013, ACTED has been actively involved in the occupied Palestinian Territory and neighbouring countries in supporting civil society to participate in the decision-making process, with a specific attention to the youth. In 2015, ACTED has focused on youth economic empowerment in both the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, as well as in Lebanon and Jordan. On one hand, the project aims at facilitating the access of youth to the labour market by providing them with the necessary trainings and facilitating their links with the potential employers; and on the other hand, at ensuring youth inclusion in policy-making process by setting up platforms of discussion between the youth and policy-makers. For instance, a steering committee of the project involving Palestinian youth, civil society organisations, actors from the private sector as well as local and national authorities is held on a quarterly basis to enable dialogue between those stakeholders. In addition, a national conference involving over 100 students and young graduates took place, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, on youth employment in Palestine to enable discussion between the youth, private sector, civil society organisations and local or national authorities.

ACTED remains committed to supporting Palestinian resilience against displacement and poverty

ACTED will pursue its efforts to prevent displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank through emergency assistance, and the support of youth civil society economic empowerment through the opening of two employability centres in the West Bank and Gaza to support youth in accessing the labour market. Furthermore, the activities in the Gaza Strip will be increased in early 2016 with the repair of 218 homes which were affected by minor damages during the 51 days war in the Strip and were yet not rehabilitated nearly 18 months later.

Reporting and preventing attacks on civilians

In 2015, ACTED has established five Community Eyes Watches (CEWs) in the West Bank in locations highly vulnerable to violence. These CEWs who are formed by local council members and committed community members have been trained to create a community alerting system when incidents of violence occur. Based on the nature of the incident and recommendations of the CEWs, preventive measures are implemented with one of ACTED’s consortium partner Premiere Urgence Internationale to prevent further attacks. Actions range from building a protecting wall to street lighting.

Strengthening civil society and continuing to support emergency shelter and livelihood needs 

In 2015, ACTED continued to support young Palestinians in reinforcing their capacity and engagement in the community by building upon the achievements of the previous two years. In addition, in the West Bank specifically, ACTED is willing to implement emergency relief activities through a consortium with four partners. In Gaza, the slow pace of reconstruction has left many people without adequate shelter, several months after the ceasefire. ACTED is committed to expand its action in the Strip starting with the distribution of shelter tents to reduce vulnerabilities until a durable solution is met.

Partners in 2015:

European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Italian Development Cooperation, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), ShelterBox

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