In the wake of these events, the population in the areas affected find themselves in a dire humanitarian situation, one that is more bleak and precarious than at any time since the start of the Intifada. This is a society entrenched in poverty, with limited prospects of alleviation; over 75 percent of the population of Gaza is now living below the poverty line, and approximately 40 percent of the labour force is unemployed - almost double the pre-intifada level. Conditions are even more acute in Rafah, which is arguably the most deprived region in the Gaza Strip, yet has sustained the greatest share of destruction carried out by the IDF since the intifada began.
Those who have been left traumatized and homeless in Rafah are in need of immediate assistance. On the basis of detailed assessments of conditions on the ground, UNRWA is launching this Supplementary Appeal to provide a blend of emergency assistance to meet acute medical, public health, housing, and other immediate needs of those directly affected during the events in May. This Supplementary Appeal for Rafah does not absolve Israel of its responsibility to uphold international humanitarian law, and in particular its legal obligation to respect the human rights and protect the well-being of the population in the occupied territory. Nevertheless, the Agency calls on the international community to come to the immediate aid of a population that has been thrust into a humanitarian crisis not of its own making, or choice.