Gaza Crisis Appeal - August 2014
The Crisis in Gaza
On 8 July 2014, a humanitarian emergency was declared in the Gaza Strip, following an escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and naval bombardment and Palestinian rocket fire into Israel. This is the worst escalation of conflict in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli occupation, surpassing the length and severity of Israel’s 2008/2009 Operation “Cast Lead”.
The humanitarian impact of these strikes in Gaza comes at a time of heightened vulnerability and instability in Gaza. Unemployment has increased dramatically since mid-2013, following a halt of the illegal tunnel trade and, exacerbating the impact of the blockade and the longstanding access restrictions imposed by Israel which have been preventing any meaningful economic activity. Additionally, public sector salaries, including those of the security forces, have not been paid regularly since August 2013. The ongoing energy crisis, worsened dramatically by the shelling of the Gaza Power Plant on 29 July and causing its shutdown, has created power outages currently up to 22 hours a day. This has had a devastating effect on the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health sectors and has left Gaza on the brink of a public health crisis. Since the current escalation in hostilities began, the situation on the ground has evolved rapidly and needs have increased, particularly since the start of an Israeli ground operation on 18 July. This has resulted in a high level of civilian casualties, children and women in particular, the widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure and a steep rise in internally displaced persons (IDPs). Thousands of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) remain in areas affected by the conflict and represent an increasing threat for civilians as well as for humanitarian workers however; the difficulties in moving around the Gaza Strip due to the security situation make the initial clean-up of densely populated areas and public spaces difficult.
Read the press release here: Aid agencies request US$ 369 million to meet urgent needs in Gaza and call for safe access