Said Khatib Agence France-Presse According to the UN office of humanitarian affairs (OCHA), more than 423,000 Palestinians have been displaced in recent days in the Gaza Strip under siege and shelled by the Israeli army in response to the massive Hamas attack in Israel.
The UN on Thursday launched an emergency appeal for donations worth $294 million to meet the “urgent needs” of vulnerable residents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip where more than 400,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in recent years. days.
The appeal is aimed at providing aid to more than 1.2 million people in Gaza and the West Bank, the UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said ), stressing that humanitarian organizations no longer had the resources to “adequately respond to the needs of vulnerable Palestinians.”
“To ensure that partners can meet [the needs], it is critical that funds are received on time through this appeal,” the UN office insisted, noting that aid funding for Gaza and the West Bank in 2023 had been a “challenge”.
The UN humanitarian plan for the two territories for 2023 was costed at $502 million to help 2.1 million people, but it is currently less than 50% funded. Nearly 60% of households in Gaza were considered food insecure before the start of these new hostilities.
According to OCHA, more than 423,000 Palestinians have been displaced in recent days in the Strip. Gaza under siege and shelled by the Israeli army in response to the massive Hamas attack in Israel.
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, which notably operates schools in the strip of Gaza, hosts approximately 64% of these displaced people in 102 of its establishments.
“The only power plant in the Gaza Strip ran out of fuel and stopped working, cutting off the Gaza Strip's only source of electricity,” and “most residents of the Gaza Strip no longer have access to drinking water,” OCHA added, noting that a water reservoir and a desalination plant had been hit by airstrikes.
” UNICEF said that some have started drinking sea water, which is very salty and contaminated by 120,000 m3 of untreated wastewater every day,” the statement added.
“Health facilities are overwhelmed , medical stocks are reduced and access to hospitals and medical care is hampered by hostilities and damaged roads.”
The UN is particularly concerned about 50,000 pregnant women in the strip Gaza without access to care, including around 5,500 due to give birth in the coming month.
“Although attention is focused on Gaza, the situation in the West Bank remains tense,” notes OCHA, referring there too population movements.