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West Bank and Gaza Strip
Save the Children is one of the largest U.S. nongovernmental organizations working in the West Bank and Gaza addressing the immediate humanitarian and long-term development needs of children and adults. With over 30 years of experience on the ground, Save the Children is committed to building the capacity of and empowering our local partners to design, implement, sustain and monitor local development programs over the long term.
Today, nearly half of our programs in the region are implemented through local partners in all of the major cities and surrounding villages of the West Bank and throughout northern and southern Gaza. With offices in Nablus, Halhoul, Ramallah, Gaza City and Jerusalem, our staff makes every effort to conduct programs even during the worst fighting, travel restrictions and blockades.
Children and their families living in the West Bank and Gaza are among the Middle East's most vulnerable populations. The health of children is particularly at risk and the World Health Organization has expressed concern over the state of public health care in the West Bank and Gaza. Food insecurity is also on the rise; girls and boys under the age of five are particularly vulnerable with one in 10 suffering from stunting. Unemployment among Palestinians is also steadily increasing and currently stands at around 23 percent.
Israel has a very strong social services system that meets the needs of most of the children in that nation, as well as a robust emergency response program that aids children in these types of conflict situations. They have not asked for additional assistance from Save the Children since this conflict escalated last week. Save the Children has an early childhood development program for children in need in the Nazareth community, as well as a long-term development project in Northern Israel.
In the West Bank and Gaza, Save the Children implements programs in the areas of education, economic opportunities and psychosocial health. In addition, our work in humanitarian assistance, child protection and youth development are crucial crosscutting themes in our programs.
Economic Opportunity: Our economic opportunity programs increase the skills, knowledge and resources of youth and young women so that they can participate in economic activities. Our INJAZ program — “Achievement” in Arabic — helps youth to bridge the important gap between school and work by providing them with career counseling, vocational and life skills training and technology education. Employment generating projects support poor families with short-term employment and income resources, which provide some relief from the economic hardships they face as well as help improve local living conditions by enhancing services and facilities.
Child Protection: Save the Children is a lifeline for children at risk. Our groundbreaking psychosocial programs help children cope with stress and build the capacity of families and communities to support children's psychosocial well-being. These initiatives also increase the capacity of local organizations to meet the needs of children and help create sustainable programs to promote their well-being.
Plans for the Future: For almost three decades, Save the Children has been working side-by-side with children and their families in the West Bank and Gaza, providing critical assistance, with a focus on the neediest and most underserved. With extensive program experience and policy expertise, Save the Children is a leader and innovator in the Middle East and has earned the respect and trust of local communities and partners. With the support of our donors, we can continue to create sustainable programs that will improve the lives of children and their families.
Last Updated on October 2013