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RD's Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Gaza

Statement attributable to Dr. Luay Shabaneh, UNFPA Director for the Arab Region, on the Humanitarian Situation in Gaza



Cairo, 16 May 2018 –I am following closely with deep concern the alarming humanitarian situation and increased number of causalities especially among youth in Gaza.

Since the start of the demonstration “Great Return March” on March 30th, 104 Palestinians, including 12 children and an 8-months old infant have been killed, and more than 12,600 have been injured, of whom 55 per cent have been hospitalized. The demonstrations are expected to continue, with June 5th declared as another target day.

The health system in Gaza is on the verge of collapse as its struggles to manage the massive injuries; a challenge that adds to a protracted humanitarian crisis caused by a blockade, shrinking humanitarian space and chronic shortages of essential drugs and medical supplies. Amidst Gaza’s population of 1,9 million, there are around 450,000 women of reproductive age, 45,000 pregnant women at any point of time, and 160 deliveries per day. The availability of quality reproductive health services including antenatal care, family planning and safe delivery may drop as the attention and medical staff, including midwives, nurses and obstetric surgeons focus on responding to the massive traumas and injures. The impact of the situation affects the capacity of civil society organizations to continue providing protection and assistance to women and girls who face gender-based violence.

75 per cent of casualties were young people aged 15 - 29 who wanted their voices heard; they have expressed their anger and loss of faith. It’s time to listen to them and invest in them.

UNFPA is monitoring the situation and coordinating with the health cluster, MOH and other players to ensure proper response to the needs of women, girls and youth.

For media enquires please contact Mr. Anders Thomsen, UNFPA’s representative to the State of Palestine + 972 54 9201341