President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Ola Awad today commended the signature of a memorandum of understanding between PCBS and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), at the UN House in Beirut. Awad said “the objective of this agreement between PCBS and ESCWA is the implementation of a survey to assess the impact of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip in 2014, and the socioeconomic living conditions of Palestinian households in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. ESCWA will contribute $US 94 thousand to the overall cost of the survey, and offer technical advisory services and the required expertise for the development of the survey tools and methodology.”
Entitled “The Impact of Israeli Occupation: Measuring and Monitoring the Living Conditions in Palestine,” the survey aims to provide a statistical database to monitor the socio-economic living conditions of Palestinian households in the Gaza strip as a first phase, and in the West Bank under occupation practices, following the 2014 Israeli aggression. It also has as objective to provide a statistical database on individual needs and the quality of life in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, and to make this data available for the use of ministries and governmental institutions, international organizations, UN agencies, researchers and interested parties, which would help in drawing the right comparisons of the living conditions of Palestinian households before and after the aggression.
Awad added that preparations have been underway since August 2014, as the survey questionnaire has been drafted in cooperation with local partners and relevant ministries, and the participation of UN organizations, ESCWA included. The survey was designed to respond to recent events, especially after the aggression on the Gaza strip in mid-2014 and the occupation practices in the West Bank. The survey samples include 8200 families living between the Gaza strip and the West Bank, and the data of the survey will be compiled using modern technologies available through mobile devices. For the first time, 100 per cent of the families that were targeted in the survey of socioeconomic living conditions conducted last year will also be monitored.
Director of the ESCWA Administrative Services Division, David Iyamah, signed the agreement on behalf of the Commission. Directors of ESCWA Statistics Division Juraj Riecan, and Emerging and Conflict-related Issues Division Tarik Alami, as well as a delegation of senior PCBS staff also attended the signing ceremony.
Alami highlighted on the occasion the importance of the partnership between ESCWA and PCBS to direct support efforts of the Palestinian people into being closer to their needs and conditions. He asserted the importance of this survey particularly, as it helps in understanding the long-term impacts of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip during the summer of 2014 and of the occupation in general, which would contribute to enhancing development and relief policies, spreading awareness, and developing advocacy efforts to hold occupation authorities accountable for their practices and violations of international law and of the rights of the Palestinian people.
The household survey is expected to be conducted annually in order to enable ESCWA to monitor changes in the socio economic situation in Palestine and mainly in Gaza. The survey will also be instrumental in supporting research and macroeconomic simulations.
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