Humanitarian Fund for the oPt releases additional US$2.5 million to alleviate ongoing hardships in the Gaza Strip
The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, today released a further US$ 2.5 million from the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), to cover urgent needs in the Gaza Strip.
Part of the allocation will bolster the UN’s emergency fuel operation which primarily supplies fuel to generators to maintain operations in around 190 critical health, water and sanitation installations. Virtually all of the two million Palestinians living in Gaza benefit from this fuel operation.
The funding will also provide essential life-saving medical equipment and supplies. Provision of solar panels, cash assistance and agricultural supplies are also included aimed at reducing food insecurity and reducing food production costs for 2,200 small-scale farmers who irrigate by pumping from small wells.
The Gaza strip is into its fourth month of a serious energy crisis. Power supply to households and services has barely covered 25% of needs over the last 6 weeks. Hospitals and other facilities are operating almost 24/7 on generators that are not designed for continuous use in this way. The last bulk shipment of essential drugs from the West Bank was in March 2017; an estimated 40% of essential drugs are at zero stock (ie. unavailable already, or will be totally depleted within 4 weeks). There is a large backlog of patients requiring urgent medical referral to hospitals outside the Strip.
The ‘oPt Humanitarian Fund’ is a pooled funding mechanism, operated from donations (currently) from the Governments of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
In early July, humanitarian partners in the oPt identified an urgent set of top-priority interventions to respond to the current crisis and appealed for US$25 million. To date, this urgent funding appeal is only 30 per cent funded.
“The serious decline in living conditions in Gaza continues” said Mr. Piper. “The humanitarian plight and the human rights of Gaza’s civilian population - over half of them children – appear to have disappeared from view” he added.