The Gaza Strip faces a dire humanitarian crisis from ongoing airstrikes and a crippling blockade. A new UNRWA report released on October 12th paints a grim picture of the situation.

Since the unfolding of the escalating conflict on October 7th, the human toll of the conflict has exceeded 1,100 civilian killings and 5,339 injured. Furthermore, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has suffered 12 personnel deaths in the ongoing attacks within the Gaza Strip.

An increasing amount of internally displaced people (IDPs) exacerbate the crisis. Over 218,600 IDPs have sought refuge in 92 overcrowded UNRWA schools. 

Moreover, 340,000 Palestinians are displaced in government schools and buildings, strained by food and clean water shortages.

Disintegration of Service

Gaza’s education and healthcare systems are crumbling. All UNRWA schools, including centers for the visually impaired and vocational centers in Gaza and Khan Younis, remain closed.

Health services are partially operational, with eight in 22 UNRWA health centers providing limited primary healthcare services. Some health centers face imminent shortages of their medicine supply while also facing critically low diesel reserves to power health centers.

More than 112,000 families – nearly half a million people – have been unable to receive their quarterly food rations since UNRWA food centers closed on October 7th.

Navigating in Calamity

UNRWA staff, totaling over 5,300, face increasingly challenging circumstances as they respond to the crisis. Several roads have been destroyed or made inaccessible due to debris, while airstrikes limit staff movement. There is no humanitarian access to food or other essential supplies.

As for now, UNRWA is working tirelessly to provide items such as mattresses, mats, blankets, and jerry cans to those in designated emergency shelters. These operations, however, are at risk of being severely impacted due to restricted movement and a critically low reserve of diesel.

This distressing snapshot of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza underscores the urgency of international intervention to address the torment inside the bounds of the blockade. 

UNYA will be following the conflict closely and publish news and updates on our blog and social media channels.

Feature Image Credit: UN News/Ziad Taleb