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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
21 November 2013

UN officials raise concerns over Gaza's worsening humanitarian crisis

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United Nations officials warned on Thursday that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is worsening despite a ceasefire with Israel.

They say the ceasefire last year which ended an eight-day clash between Hamas militants and Israel offered a small glimmer of hope to address Gaza's humanitarian needs

However, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator James Rawley says the situation for Gaza's 1.7 million people is worse than it was before the hostilities a year ago.

"The reasons for this are many, but to begin with, the fuel and energy crisis in Gaza is having a major impact on the lives of the people here. Since the shutdown of the Gaza power plant on 1 November due to the critical fuel shortages, daily power outages across Gaza have increased to an unbearable 16 hours per day, access to clean water has been reduced, and, as you all the sewerage systems are overflowing due to the critical lack of fuel to keep them running." (29")

Mr. Rawley added that the intermittent closure of the Rafa crossing with Egypt due to the tight restrictions on passage through area crossing with Israel has further reduced access to health care.

He said this includes supplies of drugs and medical expertise as well as family and social contacts.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'30"

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