2023 - GAZA EMERGENCY APPEAL (Update #7)
Since October 7, Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza have resulted in the tragic loss of at least 5,791 Palestinian lives, including an expected 2,360 children and 51 humanitarian staff, and at least 16,297 injuries
Gaza has been subjected to Israeli airstrikes that have specifically targeted residential buildings, often without prior warning for residents to evacuate. According to the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing, 16,441 housing units have been destroyed while 11,340 have been rendered uninhabitable - making up at least 45% of all residential housing units in Gaza. Airstrikes have also targeted and damaged 34 health facilities, including 19 hospitals, as well as schools, mosques, and churches. 207 educational facilities have also been hit by airstrikes, including at least 29 UNRWA schools, of which eight were used as emergency shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
As a result of these Israeli attacks, there has been a significant internal displacement crisis with IDPs nearing 1.5 million individuals. Mass displacement from the north to the south of the Strip started with Israel’s evacuation order of more than 1.1 million people on October 13. Out of these IDPs, UNRWA estimates that over 590,000 people are seeking shelter in 150 UNRWA schools, some of which have been directly targeted, around 101,500 in hospitals, churches, and public buildings, and 79,000 in 67 non-UNRWA schools .
Gaza has been under a full electricity blackout for the past 15 days following Israel’s halt of electricity and fuel on October 11. Water supply is critically limited after attacks on water stations, wells, and sanitation facilities, and so are food and medicines, with the Rafah crossing remaining closed for the movement of goods with the exception of a few aid trucks. More than 2 million people are at risk of dehydration and infectious and waterborne diseases due to lack of drinkable water and a sewage system, with current outbreaks of diarrhea, scabies, and chickenpox being reported.
As Gazans continue to flee their homes, it seems awfully clear that they are going from a targeted area to an area that will be targeted
In possibly the worst and deadliest single attack on Gaza in the last few decades, Israeli airstrikes bombed Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the evening of October 17, killing at least 471 people, including patients. On October 19, Israeli airstrikes targeted Saint Porphyries church, the third oldest church in the world, where some 400 IDPs had taken shelter, killing at least 18 people.
On the night of October 24, Gaza's Ministry of Health declared a total breakdown of its healthcare infrastructure. Some hospitals, facing equipment shortages and strained backup generators, resorted to performing surgeries without anesthesia and using phone flashlights.
- Significant obstacles in people's ability to access vital healthcare services
- Scarcity in resources that include water, electricity, gas, communication, and other basic needs
- Safety risks and hazards disrupt the capacity of emergency responders to mobilize which hinders service delivery
- Limited supplies of nutritional and non-food items (NFIs)
- Limited supplies of medical disposable items and medications
PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTIONS IN THE GAZA STRIP AND WEST BANK
- Provide psychological first-aid sessions to people in shelters and in the West Bank
- Provide recreational kits for children in shelters and vulnerable communities
PROVIDE HYGIENE KITS
- Procure hygiene kits that meet the specific needs of emergency response.
PROVIDE THE ELDERLY IN NEED WITH THE BASIC NEEDS OF FOOD AND MEDICATIONS (NON- COMMUNICABLE DISEASES)
- Provide basic needs such as food and medications to these high-risk older adults.
MOBILIZE GROUPS OF VOLUNTEERS TRAINED ON BASIC EMERGENCY HEALTH RESPONSES THAT ARE DISTRIBUTED ALL OVER COMMUNITIES IN THE GAZA STRIP AND WEST BANK
- Sensitize, organize, and equip volunteers to respond to basic emergency health services within the Gaza Strip and West Bank
- Provide first aid kits and dressing kits that meet the specific needs of emergency response. These kits should include items such as bandages, antiseptics, gloves, masks, and other necessary supplies.
SUPPORT ESSENTIAL HEALTH SERVICES INCLUDING NUTRITION, SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS AND MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH SERVICES
- Provide essential nutritional needs for families living in shelters; to include canned foods, rice, milk, bread/flour.
- Provide essential SRHR services to families in Gaza to include dignity kits for women and adolescents, including sanitary pads and long-acting and short-acting contraceptives.
- Provide essential maternal and child health services using Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for Sexual and Reproductive Health approach, to include prenatal vitamins, provision of safe delivery and EmONC services, and clean delivery kits to pregnant women and birth attendants .
- Prevent and protect from Gender Based Violence (GBV) as safe spaces within shelters for women and young girls to obtain the appropriate clinical care and referral.
 Escalation in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #16. https://www.ochaopt.org/content/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-16
 Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for SRH in Crisis Situations https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/MISP-Reference-English.pdf
During the continuous attacks by Israel targeting residential homes, schools, hospitals and mosques, one thing stands certain:
There is no safe place in the Gaza Strip
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