Courtesy of UNICEF - Eyad El-Baba
CAIRO – 3 July 2017: On Monday, humanitarian agencies in Palestine presented the ‘Gaza Crisis Urgent Fund Appeal’ document to donors and diplomats in Jerusalem calling for $25 million of new humanitarian funding to stabilize the deteriorated humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
The humanitarian agencies including UNRWA, identify 2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip and 0.6 million people to be targeted through this appeal. Furthermore, the appeal document defines top-priority, life-saving interventions to be health, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security to address the most acute humanitarian needs.
The humanitarian appeal document mentions that “Failure to respond to these needs will exacerbate human suffering and increase the risk of a new round of violence.”
The ‘Gaza Crisis Urgent Fund Appeal’ document also mentions that despite the arrival of some fuel purchased from Egypt over recent weeks, Gaza’s electricity crisis is far from over as electricity supply has ranged from four to six hours per day.
According to the appeal document, the funding is needed to help mitigate the effects of deep power cuts and lack of fuel for generators for hospitals, water treatment plants, sewerage pumps and other key facilities. The package also includes chemicals for water treatment and spare parts for generators that have increasingly become the primary energy source instead of the back-up for key facilities.
The planned interventions also target shortages in medical supplies and aim to provide assistance to an estimated 100,000 food-insecure families and vulnerable farmers whose livelihoods are under threat. Responding to the heightened risk of ‘diarrhea’ disease outbreaks, 8,500 hygiene kits will also be distributed for especially-vulnerable households.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Robert Piper, chaired Monday’s meeting with diplomats and donors. He said, “The situation in Gaza has become increasingly precarious over recent months. No one is untouched by the energy crisis., and restrictions by the Palestinian Authority in the medical sector are hitting some of the most vulnerable adults and children in the Strip,” Piper added “The coping capacities of Gaza’s families to deal with these types of shocks are seriously depleted as the cumulative impact of 10 years of isolation, division and insecurity take their toll.”
The new appeal comes after launching the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2017 by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in oPt in December 2016. Since the HRP launch the situation in the Gaza Strip has significantly worsened, due to a dramatic deterioration in the energy situation and other developments related to internal Palestinian dynamics, affecting the entire population of two million people.
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