The humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating on all levels in a downward spiral demanding immediate intervention to prevent a total collapse.
There is a continued sense of despair with 80% of the population relying on aid to survive. Electricity, for those fortunate enough to have it, runs about 5-6 hours a day disrupting basic services to hospitals, health clinics, sewage and water treatment facilities. Three hospitals and ten medical centers have already suspended services due to lack of fuel impacting 300,000 people. According to the World Bank, “access to improved drinking water sources in Gaza declined to one of the worst in the world today”, further reporting that “96% of the water is not suitable for human consumption”.
The blockade on Gaza, now in its 11th year, prevents people and goods from moving, leaving the population isolated and trapped. In 2017, 54 Gazan’s died awaiting ‘permission’ to receive vital treatment outside.
Being a parent in Gaza is an insurmountable challenge just to keep their children alive. An estimated 10,000 newborn infants out of 55,000 born every year end up in neonatal intensive care units for life-saving treatment according to the UN. In addition, the mortality rate for Gaza is 14 infants per 1,000 births. Chronic malnourishment for children under five continues to rise affecting an estimated 14% of Gazan’s children.
The scale of what life means for Gazan’s was emphasized by a 2012 UN report projecting Gaza to be inhabitable by 2020. That is no longer the case. Today the UN revisited the indicators and found that, “most of the projections for 2020 have in fact deteriorated even further and faster than anticipated”
‘I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza today. I urge donors to help us continue to provide sustainable aid through our nutritional, farmer supported programs. Ramadan is around the corner, and we are already in the preparation stage. We must do our part,” said Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, Chairwoman KinderUSA.
It is imperative that the people of Gaza are enabled to live dignified, healthy and productive lives in peace and security. The blockade must end.