- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian territories (OCHA-oPt) is a primary coordinator of NGO funding and activity in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- OCHA oversees and facilitates government funding to highly biased and politicized NGOs, including a number that are highly active in promoting BDS and lawfare campaigns, and some even engage in blatantly antisemitic activities. Some of the NGOs also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
UN OCHA oPt Humanitarian Fund
- The oPt Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) is a “pooled fund” that aims to “Expand the delivery of assistance in hard-to-reach areas by partnering with national and international NGOs.”
- UN OCHA-oPt HF projects are funded by Germany, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, and Iceland.
- The Fund’s “Advisory Board” includes the “donors to the fund and representatives of national and international NGOs and UN agencies.”
- The Fund has provided grants to a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including B’Tselem, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Ma’an Development Center, HaMoked, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Health Work Committees (HWC). (See table below for further funding information.)
UN Humanitarian Aid Clusters
- As part of its “Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP),” OCHA organizes “Thematic Clusters” including Protection, Education, Shelter, Health and Nutrition, WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), and the Food Security Sector (FSS). Within each cluster, NGOs serve as implementing partners with UN agencies, and in some cases, are responsible for leading the cluster.
- In practice, the cluster system is a key international lobbying and action mechanism through which the PA advances its nationalist and political agenda, sustaining conflict.
- As part of the 2020 HRP, NGOs received $295 million (out of a requested $539.8 million) in government-provided humanitarian aid within the different clusters.
- Numerous NGOs that receive funding under the HRP support BDS and other overtly political campaigns against Israel, and several have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
- Protection Cluster
- The Protection Cluster’s Legal Task Force, a sub-division of the Legal Aid sub-working group (co-chaired by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Society of St. Yves), is comprised of 14 Israeli, Palestinian, and international NGOs, including Addameer, B’tselem, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Al- Haq, Al Mezan, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR).
- Education Cluster
- Shelter Cluster
- Health and Nutrition Cluster
- WASH Cluster (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)
- “Full Members” of the WASH Cluster include Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children, World Vision, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Norwegian Church Aid, and Terre des Hommes. “Associate members and observers” include United States (USAID), European Union, Netherlands (MFA), United Kingdom (Department for International Development-DFID), and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation).
- The WASH Cluster has international and local NGO partners, including Al-Haq, Al-Dameer, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), UAWC, Ma’an, PARC, PENGON (Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network), Oxfam GB, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), World Vision, Society of St. Yves, and Christian Aid.
- Food Security Sector
Advocacy within Humanitarian Clusters
- On March 21, 2017 and March 29, 2017, in meetings held at the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza City and Ramallah, the Food Security Sector (FSS), along with representatives from international and Palestinian NGOs, were urged by its partner Action Against Hunger (ACF) to participate in an advocacy “hashtag” campaign to mark “50 Years of Israeli Occupation,” using #thisisoccupation and #endtheoccupation.
- Connie Martinez-Varela Pedersen is the current Cluster Coordinator for the Protection Cluster and a Human Rights Officer at OHCHR. Pedersen previously worked as the director of international advocacy for the politicized Israeli NGO Yesh Din.
- In 2017, the Food Security Sector (FSS) stated that it would “conduct Bilateral meetings (lobby trip, Consulate, Embassy), hearing at the European Parliament and other international fora.” FSS also stated that it would focus on sending “clear messages about the illegality of the following”:
- “Israeli settlements, hence settler violence are illegal under IHL”
- “Stop settlements expansion”
- “Stop the forcible transfer of Palestinian Bedouins and herders with its negative consequences on their livelihoods.”
- In August 2014, the Protection Cluster relied on B’Tselem, Al Mezan, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) for reporting on Palestinian casualties in Gaza during the 2014 Gaza war. Most, if not all, claims were based upon those of the Hamas Ministry of Health.
- Former and current senior PCHR officials have ties to the PFLP.
- Since 2013, under the “oPt Education Cluster,” UNICEF has partnered with Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in providing “protective presence” to Palestinian children going to and from school.
- EAPPI brings volunteers to the West Bank for three months to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where many engage in anti-Israel advocacy, including advocating for BDS campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.
- EAPPI also participates in the UN’s Protection Cluster Working Group (PCWG) and the Settler Violence Core Group (SVCG). EAPPI’s role in these groups is “ongoing submission[s] of incident reports to the SVCG, UN agencies and other relevant actors. Participation in meetings of the Silwan Task Force/East Jerusalem Task force and AIDA, and the Education Cluster.” EAPPI volunteers “monitor for human rights violations and do a lot of administrative work which is fed into UN systems” (emphasis added).
2018-2020 Funding Received by Cluster
|Shelter/NFI (Non Food Item)||$4,892,118||$23,415,540||$11,982,669|
|Health and Nutrition||$46,654,706||$19,808,878||$20,226,104|
|WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)||$14,930,602||$20,474,650||$11,905,317|
|Food Security Sector (FSS)||$126,664,789||$138,757,797||$125,635,924|
|Coordination and Support Services||$3,652,787||$3,706,809||$7,499,783|
|Total NGO Funding||$246,203,132||$235,939,565||$199,488,014|
(* = PFLP linked NGO)
|Medical Aid for Palestinians||Addressing the urgent needs of the MoH to support the COVID 19 response plan in Gaza||2020||$500,551|
|Provision of life saving drugs and disposables to respond to the emergency medical needs in Gaza||2019||$845,630|
|Addressing the needs of Limb Reconstruction patients||$2,320,333|
|Ma’an Development Center||Emergency Supplies of NFIs for the Vulnerable People at Higher Risk of COVID19||2020||$325,006|
|Emergency Repair of Essential WASH Facilities in the Gaza Strip||$231,505|
|Coordinated Preposition of Life ¬Saving Non¬ Food Items and Shelter materials for Host-Community Emergency Responses in the Gaza Strip||2019||$433,821|
|Emergency Shelter response for the Most Vulnerable Households in Area C of the Jordan Valley||$491,528|
|Supporting the vulnerable farmers affected in Area C by and prone to settler violence for sustained and improved livelihood||$464,779|
|ACTED||Improving quarantine centers' and vulnerable households’ capacities to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic||2020||$150,000|
|Shelter emergency assistance to vulnerable households exposed to harsh weather and protection concerns in the Gaza Strip||$250,000|
|Increasing and strengthening emergency preparedness and response of Rafah community, through NFI prepositioning and community empowerment||2019||$415,487|
|Emergency multi-sectoral assistance to vulnerable households affected by man-made and natural disasters in the West Bank including East Jerusalem||$319,892|
|Save the Children||Enhanced quality of life for communities at risk of flooding in Jabalia||2020||$364,999|
|Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)||Improving access to adequate health and nutritional care services for children under five and women in Access restricted areas of Gaza Strip.||2020||$501,502|
|Mobile outreach providing accessible and equitable primary healthcare to H2 via mobile outreach and community building capacity building.||$195,700|
|Improved emergency health care for GMR injured in the Gaza Strip||2019||$331,593|
|Oxfam Novib||Livelihood restoration and protection for Area C vulnerable farmers||2020||$300,000|
|Food Assistance to Vulnerable HHs in the Gaza and North Governorates||$462,315|
|Rehabilitation of destroyed and deteriorated public WASH facilities located in vulnerable and undeserved communities in the Gaza Strip||$414,467|
|Improving access to WASH services for fragile families in the eastern area of Gaza governorate||2019||$500,000|
|Food Assistance for under-served food insecure HHs in the Gaza Strip||$439,993|
|Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)||Enhance Farmers' resilience through Improving food security for most vulnerable Households in Jordan Valley||2020||$149,995|
|Enhance the resilience and food security of vulnerable farmers in area c (North-West Jerusalem and Ramallah through land and Road rehabilitation||2019||$311,157|
|Enhance the resilience and food security of vulnerable farmers in area c||$388,627|
|Urgent support to vulnerable poor farmers in the ARA and poor vulnerable households in the Gaza Strip||$384,467|
|Emergency response to improve access to safe, sufficient and affordable water for the vulnerable population in area C, West Bank||$298,375|
|Women’s Affairs Center||Protection of Most Vulnerable Women and Girls including GBV Survivors with Disabilities, Chronically Ill, and Women With Breast Cancer Through Coordinated and Multisectoral Specialized Responses.||2020||$200,000|
|Protection of Vulnerable Women and Girls Survivors of GBV in the Gaza Strip Through Coordinated and Multisectoral Responses||2019||$410,423|
|Union of Health Work Committees*||Providing elective surgeries to patients registered on the waiting list at the Ministry of Health – Gaza Strip - OPT||2020||$504,270|
|Protection response mechanisms are in place to prevent and mitigate the effects of GBV on women and girls in Easter area of Khanyounis – Southern Gaza Strip||$200,047|
|Ensuring lifesaving health services for trauma cases||2019||$634,055|
|Ensure the availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of reproductive health services to the marginalized women in allover Gaza Strip||$505,243|
|Gaza Community Mental Health Programme||Provision of Specialized Mental Health and Free Telephone Counseling (Hotline) Services to Women, Men, Boys and Girls Affected by Violence in the Gaza Strip.||2020||$274,449|
|Provision of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Services to Women, Men, Boys and Girls Affected by Violence in the context of demonstrations at the perimeter fence of Gaza Strip||2019||$426,933|
|Health Work Committees*||Increase Access to Essential Health Services for Marginalized Communities in Hebron H2||2020||$305,054|
|Norwegian Refugee Council||First Standard Allocation 2020||2020||$349,999|
|Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) to Protect Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Forcible Transfer||2019||$350,000|
|Strengthen WASH preparedness and response capacity of vulnerable communities to winter floods||$600,000|
|Most vulnerable households exposed to impacts of harsh weather and protection concerns are supported to meet their basic shelter needs and enhance their coping capacity||$352,488|
|Islamic Relief Worldwide||Urgent food assistance for the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 lockdown in Gaza Strip||2020||$353,503|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)*||Monitoring , verification and documentation of possible IHL,IHRL violations in the context of great march of return, And provision of legal aid to victims of GBV in the Gaza Strip||2019||$243,792|
|Al Mezan*||Monitoring and documentation of IHL and IHRL violations in the Gaza Strip with focus on violations in the context of the GMR protests and grave violations against children||2019||$244,756|
|Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR)||Emergency Response Teams for protection and psychosocial needs of GMR injured individuals and affected families in North, Gaza, and Khan Younis Governorates||2019||$355,773|
|Protection and psychosocial response to GMR injured individuals and affected families in the Middle Area and Rafah Governorates||$240,027|
|Physicians for Human Rights Israel||Providing Essential Health Services and Health System Strengthening in the Gaza Strip||2019||$439,172|
|Terre des Hommes||Responding to the Needs of Vulnerable Children in the Gaza Strip through Integrated Child Protection Services||2019||$260,001|
|Provision of integrated multi-sectoral protection services to vulnerable children and their families in the Gaza Strip||$417,793|
|DanChurchAid||Safe and secure trauma for Gaza vulnerable people||2019||$395,824|
|CARE International||Protecting livelihoods and Improving Resilience of the herding communities in the Bethlehem eastern slopes- Area C - West Bank||2019||$318,789|
|Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC)*||Emergency Response to Promote Access to Adequate Sanitation, Safe Water and Best Knowledge on Hygiene Practices||2019||$356,117|