Japan Grants UN Women Palestine $1M to Support Protecting and Strengthening the Resilience of Women and Girls in Gaza after the 2021 May Escalation



In April 2022, the Government of Japan granted UN Women Palestine one million dollars for a one-year project to support women and girls in Gaza.  The project attributes a special focus on supporting the resilience of women and girls affected by the May 2021 Escalation/Conflict in Gaza. Over 53 thousand beneficiaries are expected to benefit from this project, directly and in directly, in the span of a 12-month cycle.

Over the course of the last year, the situation in Palestine has been marked by multiple overlapping crises: more than 54 years of Israeli military occupation, close to 15-year long blockade on Gaza, the internal Palestinian political division, the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic crisis and recurrent escalations of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

The ongoing crisis is creating and exacerbating gender-specific risks and vulnerabilities and is resulting in higher scale of humanitarian needs among women, girls, men and boys in Gaza. Several factors had contributed to increasing the incidence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls including conflict related violence, prevailing traditional social norms, and the COVID-19 pandemic. According to  the oPt 2021 Multi-sectoral Needs Assessment, 31 per cent of households in the West Bank and 19 per cent in Gaza are concerned about the safety and security of girls, while 24 per cent and 17 per cent in the two areas respectively are concerned about the safety and security of women. Moreover, the oPt 2022 humanitarian response plan showed that multisectoral GBV services continue to be critical services, while UN Women 2021 Palestine guidance note on Gender Responsive Cash and Voucher Assistance showed that coupling GBV services with cash and voucher assistance (CVA) can bolster women’s social protection and decrease GBV risk when combined with GBV case management and other services and support.

Through the programme, and the adoption of intersectional approach in light of the forementioned findings, UN Women will address the needs of women and girls impacted by the Gaza escalation, women GBV survivors and/or those classified to be at risk of higher exposure to GBV (i.e., women with disabilities, widows, female adolescents, female heads of households, elderly women, etc.) through cash assistance coupled with  multisectoral services including GBV case management, structured psychosocial assistance, legal assistance, and referral.

Commenting on the scope of the new project, Ms. Maryse Guimond, UN Women Palestine Special Representative, said: “Japan’s strategic investment will support UN Women to provide much needed multisectoral services, including GBV services and cash for work opportunities to women most affected by the escalation in Gaza. We hope that the provision of quality and coordinated protection and livelihood services through the Japanese funding will further support women in Gaza to overcome the difficult situation and achieve their full potential despite all odds.”

This grant is a token of support from the Japanese people to improve life for Palestinian women and girls. UN Women is one of our important partners to implement humanitarian responses targeting Gender-based violence. We are concerned that GBV has particularly intensified since the Gaza 2021 May escalation as well as the outbreak of COVID-19, which left many women trapped with their abusers and has further limited many women’s ability to leave abusive situations. Therefore, we hope this project would serve to provide gender sensitive humanitarian responses to mitigate and reduce the impact of the Gaza 2021 May escalation on women and girls, build their resilience, and promote their protection and participation in post conflict recovery in Gaza.” said Mr. MAGOSHI Masayuki, Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs / Representative of Japan to Palestine.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with Campaign for the Children of Palestine (CCP Japan), UN Volunteers, the Women’s Affairs Centre-Gaza, AISHA Association for Woman and Child Protection in Gaza, and humanitarian sectors and clusters.