East Jerusalem: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development have provided cash assistance for people with disabilities in Hebron, West Bank, Palestine, providing immediate relief for over 13,000 of the most vulnerable people.
Some 2,500 families with one or more members with disabilities will receive the assistance. The cash amount will vary depending on the number of disabled members per family.
The Joint SDG Fund – an inter-agency mechanism for integrated policy support and strategic financing – provided US$456,000 to finance the intervention. The SDG Fund is an inter-agency mechanism for integrated policy support and strategic financing. This initiative marks an important step towards reform of social safety nets in Palestine.
The Joint SDG Fund has allocated US$2 million to support and accelerate wider social protection reform efforts led by the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development under a UN Joint Project. This pilot comes as the first step, targeting the most vulnerable groups, starting with families with people with disabilities.
"This partnership is an essential first step in building robust and resilient national systems to ensure that we can continue supporting the people we serve in every context and under any circumstance," said WFP Representative and County Director for Palestine Samer AbdelJaber in a press release on Wednesday.
In the last year, the consecutive shocks of COVID-19 and the global surge in food and fuel price, exacerbated by the Ukraine war, have left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians unable to meet their basic needs. In the absence of a national safety net, these families rely solely on humanitarian assistance to survive.
Around 6 percent of the Palestinian population is living with some form of disability, this figure rises to 15 percent among the population over 70. By piloting this project, the joint programme aims to identify, target, and provide immediate relief to the families facing increasing costs of care amid a severe financial crisis.
"The pilot comes at a critical time when COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of national institutions’ readiness to respond to shocks and emergencies in a swift and efficient manner," said ILO Representative Mounir Kleibo.
WFP is providing its cash-based platform service and overseeing the process of targeting and delivery of assistance, through existing WFP voucher cards that families can redeem from the agency’s contracted shops. in Yatta, Hebron, the ILO is supervising an assessment to capture and extract learnings and recommendations from this pilot.
In addition to providing immediate relief, the results of this pilot will help inform future policy recommendations and capacity strengthening measures to ensure that all Palestinians, especially the most vulnerable, have a reliable and inclusive social safety net to fall back on in times of need.