New York, 30 July 2014
I am alarmed at the intensity of the violence in Gaza after a brief humanitarian ceasefire.
Today another UN school serving as a shelter has been hit in gross violation of international law. More children, civilians killed and injured.
Yesterday the UNSCO/UNOCHA Headquarters in Gaza was hit five times over a period between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Gaza’s sole power plant was also hit and is unlikely to be operable for the foreseeable future leaving most homes with an average of 2 hours of electricity per day.
Humanitarian organisations in Gaza are trying to help people in desperate and dangerous circumstances. People need food, water, medical care, safe shelter and other vital assistance. More families are being displaced every day and there are currently over 250,000 confirmed displaced people, 200,000 people in UNRWA shelters alone, in need of aid. This is over 10 per cent of the overall population of Gaza. Our capacity is stretched to the limit. World Food Programme is providing emergency food assistance to 204,000 people in addition to the regular food programmes and shortages of basic supplies have been reported in local markets. Given the deteriorating humanitarian situation, people’s needs will continue to grow.
The harrowing pictures we see every day are a reminder to us all of the terrifying ordeal being suffered by children and families in Gaza. Communities coming under rocket fire in Israel are also fearful. Protecting civilians caught in the middle of this violence remains a priority for humanitarian agencies. But we can't end the brutal conflict that continues to claim so many civilian lives in Gaza. I hope that all those with influence over the parties involved in this conflict will continue to do their utmost to agree on a lasting ceasefire and bring this conflict to an end. Let's put people first.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.