18 January 2013: Some 1.64 million people have been affected by the blockade of Gaza since 2007. Living conditions for people living in Gaza have deteriorated severely, and access to essential services, such as health care and education, has significantly declined. Gaza has a food-insecurity rate of 44 per cent, which creates another challenge for the population.
In November 2012, Israeli forces conducted a military operation that resulted in additional need for shelter and psychosocial support. An estimated 420 houses were destroyed and 12,200 houses were damaged. Approximately 15,000 people sought refuge either in emergency shelters or with host families. Most of the displaced people have returned home, but 3,000 remain displaced.
In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided a rapid response grant of US$8,220,862 to five UN agencies.
Through an allocation of $1,206,178, the World Health Organization (WHO) will provide medicine to cover pre-existing shortages as well as emergency supplies to treat casualties and chronically ill people. The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) received $630,716 to provide legal assistance. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $1,604,174 to provide hygiene kits and to procure chlorine gas for water disinfection. UNICEF will also provide psychosocial assistance to mitigate the effects of trauma.
With an allocation of $1,149,683, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will help to remove and dispose of rubble generated by the latest Israeli military operation. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) received $3,630,111 to provide shelter, health and psychosocial services.
The allocations are expected to benefit 1.64 million people.