This week marked the first cash disbursal of the Child Sensitive Cash Assistance Program in the Gaza Strip, in which nearly 4,300 girls and boys from 1,160 poor and vulnerable households affected by the May 2021 escalation will benefit from four cycles of monthly cash payments.
With funding support from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to UNICEF in the State of Palestine, and in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Social Development, first payments were made to households through PalPay cash-out points in the Gaza Strip.
These payments are provided to enable children made vulnerable by the May escalation in hostilities to continue their development through school, access to essential services, and ensuring children are better protected.
“By assisting children with humanitarian needs to better access school and services, we are ensuring their development. This assistance will help children and their families overcome the shocks caused by the May 2021 escalation enabling their future growth. We are doing this with the Ministry to buttress shock responsive social protection systems, providing a sustainable model for potential future shocks and to ensure the continuum between humanitarian and development efforts. Almost 90 per cent of recipients withdrew their cash within the first 48 hours of availability,” said UNICEF State of Palestine Special Representative, Lucia Elmi, in a press statement.
“The speed at which these households redeemed this assistance is a strong indication of the vulnerability of children and their families and the need for this type of programming in the Gaza Strip.” The UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, said, “The UK is proud to provide a further ₤2m to UNICEF to respond to ongoing humanitarian needs in Gaza. The program provided by UNICEF will help the most vulnerable people in Gaza, especially children to continue their education, meet their basic needs, and hopefully to fulfill their potential.” Child-focused cash assistance will help enable vulnerable children in the Gaza Strip to meet their basic needs and promotes behavioral change on child rights and well-being, such as COVID-19 vaccination and the elimination of violence against children. Household eligibility for this program is based on child vulnerability.