UNICEF State of Palestine Flash Situation Report, 10 August 2022


Situation overview and humanitarian needs

A ceasefire came into effect in the Gaza Strip on 7 Aug at 23:30, halting 3 days of intense hostilities between Palestinian militant factions (led by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)), and Israel. Sixteen children were killed and 151 reportedly injured in the Gaza strip2, as well as 14 children reportedly injured in Israel.

This happens 14 months after the May 2021 escalation that left thousands of children traumatized and in need of support. Before the current conflict, about 515,450 children in the Gaza Strip were already in need of Mental Health and Psychological Services (MHPSS).3 The recent 3 days of hostilities have further exacerbated the risks of psychological distress and mental disorders among children and their caregivers.

The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) reported mild damage to sections of the water and wastewater network in Rafah Governorate, with no major impact on the network. Delay in delivering fuel to the Gaza Strip induced a power supply shortage that affected the water and sanitation sector. Water production and distribution decreased by more than 50 per cent, impact on the UNICEF-supported desalination plant alone affected not less than 300,000 persons. Wastewater treatment plants’ operation capacity have also been affected; more than 130,000 CM of raw/poorly treated wastewater have been discharged to the sea daily. In light of the fragility of the ceasefire, replenishment of water treatment chemicals is a priority. According to CMWU, the available quantities of chemicals to cover the desalination plants' needs will last for less than one week.

Primary and secondary schools will open on 28 August, after the summer vacation, for approximately 600,000 children, meanwhile, MoE will resume the grade twelve examinations (Tawjihi) on Wednesday 10 August. The education cluster is working with partners and service providers to identify damages to education facilities, if any, and prepare for the return to schools. All summer activities implemented by education cluster partners will resume in the coming few days. Scaling up those activities and MHPSS is a priority to support the children affected by the recent conflict.

Eighteen housing units were destroyed and 68 severely damaged, leaving 84 families (450 individuals) internally displaced to the host community. In addition, an estimated 1,675 housing units sustained moderate to minor damage, affecting 8,500 individuals. Markets in Gaza remained operational and accessible despite a noted slight increase in prices.

After 3 days of disruption of services, primary healthcare clinics are reopening. To date, one hospital and one ambulance sustained damage during the conflict. Prior to the recent conflict, the MoH’s needs for medication, disposables, medical equipment, spare parts, and laboratory kits were high. UNICEF and the Health cluster continue to assess the needs and look forward to supporting the MoH with its revised list of needs.