Ongoing effort by faith groups for humanitarian efforts.
By Palestine Israel Network | Global Ministries | Mar 18, 2020
In mid-February, Rep. Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the Trump administration to alleviate the ongoing crisis by restoring all humanitarian assistance and working to end the Gaza blockade.
The Gaza Strip faces a chronic humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and access to essential services by its two million residents. The United Nations predicted in 2012 that conditions in Gaza would be unlivable by the year 2020 as a result of the Israeli blockade for more than 12 years. This crisis has been driven also by an unsolved internal Palestinian divide. Since March 2018, the crisis has been exacerbated by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence, as well as limited escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.
Ninety-six percent of Gaza’s water is unsafe to drink. According to the European Union aid agency, “In the Gaza Strip, only 1 in 10 Palestinian families has access to safe drinking water, down from 60% a decade ago. Water infrastructure has deteriorated to the point that clinics have frequently had to shut down, at times when thousands of people needed treatment for injuries sustained during demonstrations.”
Gaza’s two million residents have only intermittent access to electricity and the economy is near collapse. Half of Gaza’s residents receive emergency food assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).