ACTED has been operating in the West Bank since 2007 and in the Gaza strip since 2008, with offices in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza. The NGO works to support vulnerable populations by addressing their urgent needs, and supporting efforts to rehabilitate and rebuild their homes, livelihoods and communities. ACTED also implements innovative capacity building initiatives in the areas of digital technologies and social entrepreneurship.
Over fifty years of occupation, economic stagnation and internal political deadlock have led to a situation in which approximately 2.1 million Palestinians need humanitarian assistance due to conflict, displacement, movement restrictions, and the denial of access to livelihoods, amidst a host of other humanitarian challenges. This protracted crisis has been further exacerbated in the past two years by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A significant majority of those who need humanitarian assistance live in the Gaza Strip, which was heavily impacted by the May-2021 hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, and where the blockade continues to impact every aspect of life. Public infrastructure is continually starved of the materials and investment required to meet the needs of a growing population. Access to safe drinking water and electricity remain extremely limited.
Amidst frequent rounds of peace talks with limited success, combined with internal political divisions and the dramatic drop in funding from key humanitarian actors, it has never been more vital for humanitarian and development actors to provide a lifeline to Palestinian families, and the communities in which they live.
ACTED addresses both the humanitarian needs and development challenges in oPt through a nexus approach. This includes emergency support to vulnerable households living in substandard conditions through shelter rehabilitation and provision of non-food items in both the Gaza strip and the West Bank, as well as addressing WASH needs at community and household level, including the rehabilitation of WASH facilities in schools and medical centers. Recently, ACTED has been supporting the Gaza strip in its recovery following the May-2021 hostilities, helping families to rebuild their shelters and farmers to rehabilitate their land.
Beyond humanitarian needs, ACTED aims at providing assistance that would help communities to transition away from humanitarian assistance and would foster development. ACTED is in fact working to unlock economic growth in oPt by harnessing the potential of digital innovation to generate inclusive employment opportunities for young graduates and entrepreneurs in both the West Bank and the Gaza strip. In the Gaza strip, ACTED is also supporting the most vulnerable households, notably gender-based violence survivors, in creating livelihoods in order to reinforce their capacity to sustainably meet their most basic needs and thus become financially independent.