Simmering tensions in the Middle East have tipped into an unprecedented escalation. The already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening, as already struggling civilians once more face the horror of major airstrikes.
Decades after conflict first began, life remains precarious for many Palestinians. Economic development has been stifled by political instability, constant conflict, the erection of the West Bank barrier and the continuation of blockades in Gaza.
Amongst a population of around 4.7 million people, hundreds of thousands of families are struggling with economic hardship. Within the Gaza Strip, in particular, a shocking 70% of people under the age of 30 are unemployed.
Water and electricity shortages across Gaza are putting livelihoods, as well as the health of local communities, at risk. A lack of safe water can be especially deadly for children. In Gaza, due to power shortages, inadequate sewage systems and high levels of salt in the water, over 90% of the water is unfit for human consumption, posing a huge health risk.
Image: A young boy receives a balloon as part of his Eid gift provided by Islamic Relief[/caption]
The situation in Palestine
The protracted crisis has meant that life is incredibly challenging for people across the Palestinian Territories.
1/2 the population across the Palestinian Territories are in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF, 2021)
1/4 of people in the Palestinian Territories are unemployed (WFP, 2019)
2/3 of people in the Gaza Strip do not have a regular source of food (WFP, 2021)
2.2 million registered refugees live in Gaza and the West Bank (UNRWA, 2021)
80% of the population of the Gaza Strip alone relying on humanitarian aid to survive
2.2 million people across Palestine are in need of humanitarian aid
Islamic Relief in the Palestinian Territories
Since 1997 Islamic Relief has invested almost S$185 million in humanitarian and development programmes to support Palestinian people.
After an escalation of conflict in 2014, Islamic Relief launched an emergency appeal to restore basic healthcare, education, water and sanitation systems and also to provide local families with access to education and livelihood support in order to ensure that families could rebuild their lives over the long-term.
We continue to offer a range of critical support across the region, including providing treatment for safer, cleaner water. We also deliver food to those in need and provide healthcare assistance to those in need, including the repair of a local clinic for children with disabilities.
For communities whose homes have been left damaged by the war, we’ve also provided furniture, children’s educational materials and clothing, along with recreational activities and psychosocial support.
With the Covid-19 pandemic now placing additional pressure on communities, we’re providing essential support to families in need by providing:
Financial support: We’re giving daily workers and those who no longer have an income cash vouchers to purchase essential food and hygiene items
Food: We’re distributing emergency food packs and providing hot meals to people in quarantine centres across Gaza
Medical care: We’re providing medical support, hygiene kits, and Covid-19 awareness materials to quarantine centres, hospitals and medical centres
Public safety: We’re helping to disinfect public places such as hospitals and schools to help reduce the risk of infection