Background Description of Emergency / Justification for Request (Please provide a short paragraph outlining the prevailing humanitarian situation and context and why this justifies the role.)
● At 06:30 on the morning of 7 October 2023, Hamas launched “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” with more than 5,000 rockets reportedly fired towards Israel from multiple locations in Gaza, as well as ground operations into Israel. In response to this attack, Israeli authorities declared that the country is in a state of war and called up military reservists. At 12:00 noon, the Israeli Forces launched operation ‘Iron Sword’ with strikes on the Gaza strip by air, land and sea. Exchanges of fire in the towns and communities in Israel surrounding Gaza continued for the second consecutive day following the infiltration of members of Palestinian armed groups into Israel. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza continued rocket fire into Israel. Simultaneously, Israel continued air, naval and land strikes throughout the night and morning. While tensions between Israel and Palestinian militants have been increasing over the past few years, this military escalation marks a significant departure from previous conflicts.
● In the evening of 7 October, Israeli authorities ceased supplying electricity to the Gaza strip, reducing the hours of electricity to 3-4 per day. The Gaza Power Plant is currently the only source of power and could run out of fuel within days. This has devastating consequences on the functioning of health facilities which need to rely on generator fuel which is expected to run out within a few days. The Israeli authorities have continued to impose multiple movement restrictions, including the closure of several checkpoints and entrances to towns and cities in the West Bank.
● Declaration of a complete siege in Gaza and closure of all crossings creates severe shortages of electricity, food, water, and fuel. Drugs, medical supplies and fuel are only expected to last a few days. Gaza’s 13 hospitals and health facilities are only partially functioning. Prior to the escalation there were stockouts of 48% of essential medical supplies in Gaza, including 20 items crucial for maternity and pediatric services. WHO has documented 37 health attacks since 7 October resulting in casualties among healthcare workers and damage to 13 healthcare facilities and at least 15 ambulances. This further impedes access to life- saving SRH services including emergency obstetric and newborn care. Strict closures in the West Bank and potential settler attacks have disrupted service delivery at mobile clinics and health facilities and significantly limited population movement and access to services.
● WHO has documented 62 attacks on health care affecting 29 health care facilities (including 19 hospitals damaged) and 23 ambulances. Seven hospitals, including four in northern Gaza (Beit Hanoun, Hamad Rehabilitation, Al Karama, and Ad Dura) either sustained damage or had to be evacuated and are no longer operational.
● As of 22 October, 2023 Mass internal displacement including following the Israeli evacuation order of 13 October 2023 has reached about 1.4 million internally displaced
people (IDPs), with nearly 580,000 sheltering in 150 UNRWA-designated emergency shelters (DES).As of 22 October, the Palestinian MOH reported 4,651 deaths and 14,245 injured in Gaza and 91 deaths and 1,734 injured in the West Bank.
● Critical concerns for UNFPA programme beneficiaries include
○ Shortage of drugs and medical disposables; 48% of items reported as out-of-stock, including 20 items for maternity and pediatric services
○ Continued attacks against Gaza; Declaration of a siege against Gaza with all crossing closed and no electricity, food, water, fuel into Gaza and supplies estimated to last up to Sunday at best.
○ West Bank, strict closures and potential settler attacks have disrupted functioning of mobile clinics and health facilities. Urgent measures needed to improve access to primary healthcare services, including integrated SRH care and GBV services through emergency safe motherhood centers and mobile clinics to address health needs of most vulnerable populations in Area C.
○ Opening of the borders to Gaza for access to humanitarian assistance.
○ Staffing remains a critical concern including potential evacuation.
● One of the key objectives will be to ensure the continuity of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, and family planning. Key protection priorities include providing psychosocial support (PSS) for affected families as well as frontline health workers, dignity kits for women and men, cash assistance for the host community and protection cases, as well as emergency referral pathways for GBV. The OPT Flash Appeal was initiated on October 12, 2023, and seeks to secure US$294 million to address the most pressing requirements of 1,260,000 individuals in Gaza and the occupied West Bank over a three-month period. Within the framework of this inter-agency flash appeal, UNFPA’s financial requirements amount to US$6.9 million as follows: Sexual and Reproductive Health US$3.6 million Gender-Based Violence US$3.3 million
Security Situation Summary in country and main threats: (i.e armed conflict, terrorism, crime, social unrest, hazard)
The security situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank continues to be tightly linked to the humanitarian and security situation in Gaza. The higher the level of security unpredictability in Gaza, the more likely security incidents will occur in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Direct and indirect security threats affecting UN personnel, assets (including premises), and programmes persist in Jerusalem and the West Bank as per the below threat categories:
Armed Conflict: While the epicenter of the current military operations continues to be Gaza, rockets targeting Jerusalem have been intercepted. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to be reported. UN personnel, assets (including premises), and programmes are not directly targeted. However, collateral damage cannot be ruled out.
Civil Unrest: Outbreaks of rioting and demonstrations occur in Jerusalem, usually concerning internal issues such as security and military operations. In the West Bank, civil unrest incidents are primarily organized in retaliation to armed escalations, search-and-arrest operations, or denounce military escalation in Gaza. These incidents do not directly impact UN personnel. However, civil unrest incidents planned to be peaceful can turn violent with little to no prior notice.
Terrorism: While several terrorist-affiliated groups operate in the duty station, the UN has not been directly affected by terror-related activities.
● Provide coaching to newly recruited staff and consultants, where appropriate.
● Coach and build capacity of staff members and staff of implementing partners responding to humanitarian/emergency crises, as needed.
Any Other Duties:
● Perform any other duties as required by the Representative and/or Head of Office,
RO/SRO, and HQ
Qualifications and Skills Required:
● An advanced University degree in Medical sciences or public health, or equivalent
● 5 or more years working experience in the field of reproductive health, preferably in the UN system or INGO;
● Experience in coordination and implementation of Minimum Initial Service Package
(MISP) for Reproductive Health;
● Humanitarian experience and international experience are of added advantage;
● Fluency in oral and written English; working knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.
Crime: Opportunistic crime in the form of armed robbery, vandalism, and verbal assaults occur in Jerusalem and the West Bank. UN personnel and assets have been targeted by crime-related incidents in Jersualem and the West Bank.
Role Description: Under the overall supervision of the UNFPA Palestine CO and direct supervision of the SRH Analyst in Jerusalem, the SRHiE Programme Specialist helps promote Sexual and Reproductive Health programming (SRH) with a geographical focus on Gaza, in line with the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP). The Field SRH Coordinator will be the Focal Point for coordination, implementation, monitoring and reporting on SRHiE activities, including HIV and medical aspects of GBV, in Gaza. The incumbent assists in establishing relevant partnerships with other humanitarian stakeholders, NGOs, donors and government counterparts and provides support to the UNFPA Gaza and Country Office on SRH Coordination in Gaza and nationally, as needed. The Coordinator will work closely with the focal points in the Ministries of Health and Country Health Department, implementing partners as well as sister UN agencies (UNICEF, WFP and WHO) to ensure improved RH services including HIV and GBV to vulnerable groups among the conflict affected populations. The Coordinator is expected to interact positively with government officials, UN
agencies and other organizations.
MISP Rollout and Programme Implementation:
● Conduct/Lead rapid assessment/s of SRH needs of the affected population
● Support monitoring of distribution of emergency IARH kits, equipment and medical supplies as well as dignity kits; develop a distribution plan to meet the needs of implementing partners other identified NGOs for RH services, monitor distribution and ensure utilization reporting.
● Ensure SRH needs are addressed within the Health cluster in Gaza and at national
level, as needed, and within OCHA Situation Reports and interagency assessments.
● Maintain working relationship and share relevant information with relevant inter- agency coordination mechanisms relevant to Gaza including, but not limited to: Health, GBV, Logistics, MHPSS, PSEA.
● Establish strong linkages between existing SRH and GBV programmes with regard to the health sector response for survivors of sexual violence.
● Assist CO in developing proposals and fund raising for SRH programming.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
● Monitor SRH programmes delivered by UNFPA through implementing partners to
crisis affected populations.
● Conduct monitoring visits, if requested.
● Provide updates on SRH commodities and supplies and share information with coordinating UN agencies, affected populations, NGO and government implementing partners. Inform supervisor and Emergency Response Coordinator of supply-related bottlenecks to inform timely action.