World Health Organization (WHO) Appeal: Occupied Palestinian Territory Emergency Response Plan 2017

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 05 May 2017

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Gaza has been in a continuing process of de-development as a result of multiple rounds of hostilities during the ten years of the Israeli blockade, the almost continuous closure of the Rafah passenger crossing and internal Political divisions. Even reconstructing the Gaza Strip to the pre-July 2014 standards will be far from sufficient to meet the significant humanitarian and developmental needs of the people in Gaza.

Children and families’ resilience capacity continues to be eroded as the needs of the population have exhausted family coping mechanisms, which provided a form of support that households have historically relied upon. Families struggle to cope with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 41.7%, disproportionality affecting youth (60%) and women (65.3%). Additionally, the living conditions of the 37,000 people who remain displaced raise a range of humanitarian concerns, including limited access to primary healthcare services. This has exacerbated the vulnerability of certain groups, particularly children.

The health sector is being severely affected by the ongoing blockade. This has been exacerbated by the recent energy crisis, as hospitals are facing partial or full closure due to the lack of fuel. There is also a chronic shortage of essential and often basic drugs and disposables in Gaza’s hospitals. The inability to benefit from proper medications and supplies puts patients at substantial risk of medical complications and deterioration in health status. In addition, the continued restrictions on movement of patients and health staff continue to hamper access of vulnerable communities to lifesaving and quality essential health services.