Stories & updates
By providing clean water, hygiene promotion, and sanitation services during emergencies we can save countless lives.
With the support of Oxfam and a local partner, water is getting trucked from a desalination center to families sheltering in schools.
We tell our children that schools are places where they can make their hopes and dreams come true. But today in Gaza, schools are a last resort for sheltering families.
How we're responding
Updated September 2014
Despite a ceasefire, the humanitarian needs remain enormous. About 110,000 people still remain displaced. Many of their homes have been destroyed and they are staying in schools or with host families. About 450,000 people—25 percent of the population—still don’t have access to running water from the municipality because of damaged infrastructure and low pressure due to power cuts.
Oxfam is continuing to truck safe drinking water to 250,000 people. We have helped to repair water systems and provide generators to keep pumps going. In addition, we have distributed food vouchers that are helping about 148,200 people while also boosting the local economy.
Our hygiene kits, loaded with items such as soap, shampoo, and detergent, have reached 26,000 people in shelters, and we are continuing to broadcast public health messages on the radio.
We have also installed a new generator, with fuel, at the Al Awda Hopsital and have supplied medicine and essential materials that have helped 49,000 people at mobile clinics and health centers.
Oxfam’s long-term program in Gaza
Oxfam has been working in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including Gaza) since the 1950s. Prior to this current crisis Oxfam programs were already helping around 350,000 people. We were supporting a hospital and mobile clinics to provide primary healthcare, supplying safe water and sanitation, and running a food-voucher project to ensure families have enough to eat while supporting Palestinians to be more self-sufficient. For many years we have also been helping local farmers improve the quality of their produce and get it to market, and helping local civil society organizations advocate for the human rights of all the people of Gaza. We aim to resume all this work, which is currently on hold, as soon as security allows.
Even before violence broke out in June, an increasing numbers of Palestinians in Gaza were living in poverty: The UN estimated that 70 percent were living on less than $2 a day. Many were already struggling to keep their businesses working despite restrictions imposed by Israel that impede commerce. Unemployment in Gaza was more than 40 percent (closer to 50 percent among young people), and 80 percent of the people in Gaza were dependent on international aid.