- 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 2017 HRP, NGOs received $206 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 Funding Received by Cluster
|Cluster||Amount Received 2018|
|Shelter/NFI (Non Food Item)||$11,682,669|
|Health and Nutrition||$20,121,868|
|WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)||$12,303,624|
|Food Security Sector (FSS)||$125.895,459|
|Coordination and Support Services||$7,166,046|
|Total NGO Funding||$206,072,306|
(* = PFLP linked NGO)
|Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)||Urgent support of in-kind food assistance to the affected poor households in the ARA - Gaza Strip||2018||$264,897|
|Support livelihoods and improve food security of the farmers/breeders through mitigating the effects of the electricity shortage||2017||$249,994|
|DanChurchAid||Safe and secure trauma and non-trauma management for Gaza vulnerable people.||2018||$721,996|
|Improved protection mechanism in communities of Area E1 through the work of EAPPI and Bimkom||2018||$249,999|
|Oxfam Novib||Urgent support for the most vulnerable families in Gaza Strip.||2018||400000|
|Provision of solar energy sources to critical WASH facilities located in vulnerable and underserved communities in the Southern area of the Gaza Strip.||2018||$383,338|
|Urgent support for the most vulnerable families in Gaza Strip||2017||$362,000|
|PMRS||Providing first aid and postoperative care to injured participating in March of return||2018||$337,692|
|World Vision||Providing Equitable and safe access to maintain resilience of vulnerable students in Area C in south Nablus and Hebron.||2018||$340,635|
|Building the resilience of vulnerable schools||2017||$250,052|
|Medecins du Monde||MHPSS and reintegration interventions to mitigate the negative impacts of detention to survivors of political violence, especially Palestinian ex-detainee children and youth and their families in East Jerusalem.||2018||$284,923|
|Psychosocial Support to mitigate the negative impacts of detention on children and their families and to increase their social wellbeing in Southern West Bank||2017||$50,070|
|B’Tselem||Monitoring and Documentation of Violations Against Vulnerable Palestinian Communities Living in a Coercive Environment||2018||$257,749|
|Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR)||Emergency response for protection and psycho-social needs of injured individuals and families of injured or killed people in the demonstrations at the fence in Gaza, Khanyounis and North Governorates.||2018||$239,076|
|Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)||Provision of life saving drugs and disposables to respond to the emergency medical needs in Gaza.||2018||$979,653|
|Deploying specialist EMTs and their needed equipment into Gaza hospitals to treat the recently wounded patients||2018||$502,277|
|Enhancing emergency preparedness and response to the "Great Return Marches" events via immediate purchase, delivery and propositioning of urgently needed drugs and medical disposables.||2018||$453,294|
|Life-saving continuum of newborn care in the Gaza Strip||2017||$140,820|
|Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC)*||To alleviate the suffering of patients waiting on the waiting list for surgical operations in the Ministry of Health and alleviate the burden of the MoH through conducting surgical operations with high quality in Al Awda Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip - OPT||2018||$300,000|
|Comprehensive Emergency response to immediate health and protection needs of vulnerable population of Gaza Strip to mitigate risks and save lives.||2018||$500,000|
|Improving the reproductive and maternity health services at Al Awda Hospital in Northern Gaza Strip||2017||$153,793|
|Terre des Hommes||Meeting the Protection Needs of Vulnerable Children in the Gaza Strip through Child Protection Case Management System||2018||$250,001|
|ACTED||Self-repair and upgrade of vulnerable households’ substandard shelters in the Gaza Strip to prepare them for harsh weather conditions||2018||$307,971|
|Prepositioning for emergency response to natural and man-made disasters in the West Bank||2018||$234,899|
|Emergency rehabilitation of agricultural assets in Southern Gaza||2017||$250,339|
|Integrated emergency shelter assistance to Palestinian refugees from Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq in the Gaza Strip.||2017||$489,133|
|Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)||Enhancing protection through provision of specialized mental health services and psycho-social support to the affected men, women, girls and boys living in vulnerable areas at Gaza Strip||2018||$199,714|
|Enhancing protection mechanisms through providing mental health and psychosocial interventions to victims of current crisis at border areas in Gaza Strip.||2018||$199,163|
|Enhancing protection through provision of specialized mental health services and psycho social support to the most affected children, adults and parents living in vulnerable areas at Gaza Strip||2017||$71,303|
|Women’s Affairs Center||Promoting prevention and protection responses to acutely Vulnerable Women and Girls Victims and Survivors of SGBV in the Marginalized Localities of Gaza Strip.||2018||$250,009|
|Supporting acutely vulnerable women and girls survivors of SGBV/VAW in the Gaza Strip||2017||$89,998|
|Première Urgence Internationale||June 2018- January 2019||$299,999|
|Protect acutely vulnerable households from harsh summer conditions and upgrade of substandard housing units to meet minimum standards for shelter||2018||$300,000|
|Protect people living in the Access Restricted Areas and surroundings from protracted protection threats, enhance their resilience and livelihoods and advocate for their rights to adequate standard of living||2017||$250,000|
|Ma’an Development Center*||Protect the Health and Safety of IDPs and Hardship Cases through Emergency Shelter Responses||2018||$282,532|
|Water voucher program in Shokat Al Sofi Area||2017||$350,173|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)*||Monitoring , verification and documentation of possible IHL,IHRL violations, And provision of legal aid to victims in the Gaza Strip||2018||$198,654|
|CARE International||Health under protection (HUP): Emergency health and nutrition assistance to people living in communities whose rights are inadequately protected in the West bank (WB)||2017||$299,055|
|HaMoked||Protecting the Rights of Palestinian Minors Detained by Israel in the West Bank||2017||$95,235|
|NGO Development Center||Enhance the income of vulnerable and poor female and male farmers in the northern area of the Gaza Strip||2017||$249,808|
|Utilizing solar/photovoltaic energy to operate agricultural water wells and pumping systems||2017||$515,800|
|Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)*||The provision of rehabilitation for the open field land in Gaza strip||2017||$248,940|
|Emergency support for greenhouse and poultry farmers to overcome the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip||2017||$230,585|
|Health Work Committees (HWC)*||Sustaining the Provision of Essential Health Services by Health Work Committees to the Most Vulnerable Communities in the south governorate of the West Bank||2017||$109,755|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||Legal Protection for Palestinian Detained Boys and Girls||2017||$53,494|