The Government of Japan donated half-a-million US dollars to UN Women Palestine Office for a one-year project to improve the situations of women in Gaza. The project, with a special focus on vulnerable women suffering from displacement and disability, as well as elderly women, will provide specialized protection services and economic empowerment activities for almost 1,700 direct beneficiaries until April next year.
Following the 2014 conflict in Gaza which created massive displacement, women in Gaza have been disproportionately affected by the humanitarian conditions which systemically create gender-based vulnerabilities. Unsafe living conditions and overcrowding along with the loss of livelihood and properties, often led to the negative coping mechanisms, such as drop out of children from school and early marriage of girls. The general decline in the access of people to basic services, especially water and electricity as a result of damage to infrastructure, has doubled the domestic burden for women and undermined their ability to engage in income generating activities. The extensive damage to agricultural areas in Gaza significantly reduced the employment opportunities available to women who work in agriculture. Recent research has shown that women in Gaza have limited access to sustainable financial income and are exposed to gender based violence in all its forms.
To address the issue and protect the women most in need through the Japan-funded project, UN Women will work with various partners to provide specialized services such as case management for gender-based violence, psychosocial support, legal assistance, and referral services. Furthermore, as the project has a special focus on women suffering from displacement and disabilities, as well as elderly women, it will provide physical rehabilitation support by trained female physiotherapists and facilitative equipment like wheelchairs, special mattresses, and hearing aids. In addition, income-generating activities, such as cash for work opportunities, will be provided along with vocational training and business development skills programmes for women, while capacity building activities for women’s organizations to strengthen their ability to address gender priorities and meet different needs of women and girls through tailored humanitarian responses will be also included.
Mr. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs / Representative of Japan to Palestine, said “I’m pleased to announce to you that the Government of Japan has decided to provide a new assistance of about 40 million US dollars to Palestine for the year 2018, including UN Women. With this new assistance, the total value of Japanese assistance to the Palestinian people will reach 1.86 billion US dollars since 1993.”
Ms. Ulziisuren Jamsran, Special Representative of UN Women Palestine Office said: “The continuous financial support of the Japanese government for the most vulnerable women and girls in Gaza through UN Women have been bringing positive changes in the lives of women and girls who are suffering multiple forms of human rights violation, including gender-based violence, and the impact of the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We hope that the provision of specialized services and economic capacity building activities through the Japanese funding will further empower women in Gaza to overcome the difficult situation and achieve their full potential despite all odds.
Throughout the project, UN Women will seek collaboration with civil society organizations that have capacity in providing gender sensitive humanitarian services to women who are most vulnerable, particularly women survivors of violence, women with disabilities and elderly women. UN Women will also capitalize on its strategic partnership with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and humanitarian actors to strengthen gender focus in humanitarian response which will benefit the most vulnerable women. (END)