A 2012 UN report predicted that Gaza would be unlivable by 2020 and urged for international intervention and aid. 2020 is here, and the world continues to turn its back on the plight of the Palestinians.”
The people of Palestine are facing the worst humanitarian crises of our time. The frequent air strikes led by Israel in the past decade not only destroyed the infrastructure, but also resulted in fatalities, changing the life of millions of people. The restrictions and blockades the Israeli’s have put in place has made Gaza an open prison. Only 3% of the water is drinkable! Everyday, 50 to 80 million litres of partially treated sewage is discharged in the sea. Due to the blockade, less than 16% of the items and equipment needed to construct a water infrastructure is reaching Gaza, which has stalled all attempts to develop a safe and hygienic water and sanitation system for the Gazans.
Water related diseases, particularly kidney problems are on the rise, with a 13 to 14% increase each year according to the Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. Destruction to hospitals has left the population medically vulnerable, where medical supplies and doctors are scarce. The hospitals and pharmacies that are functional are out of stock on about 1/3 of the vital drugs making them ill equipped to deal with the covid-19 pandemic. Destruction of schools has left the Gazan children at a disadvantage, with 85% of the schools running on double shifts to accommodate all the pupils.
35% of farmlands and 85% of fishing waters are partially or totally inaccessible due to the strict military measures, this has led to an increase in unemployment and poverty. More than half the population live on a little over £3 a day. Food insecurity in Gaza is primarily caused by lack of economic access to food due to high unemployment, low wages, high food prices and low availability of stock. Currently, 60% of the population rely on food aid and the numbers are likely to increase with the current global economic uncertainty.