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"In some places it looks like a Tsunami has hit this area". With these words, Dr. Henia Dakkak, UNFPA's Technical Advisor, who is visiting Gaza for a few days to assess the humanitarian situation, described what she has seen in the heavily populated Strip.

Dr. Dakkak, accompanied by Dr. Ali Shaar, UNFPA's National Program Officer / RH and Mr. Osama Abu Eita, Head of the Gaza Sub office, visited a shelter at Bahrain Kingdom Prep Boys School in Tel Alhawa neighborhood, west of Gaza city, to check on the progress of a joint project the UNFPA is implementing in cooperation with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society.

The visiting delegate met with the woman doctor on site who briefed them on the situation of women and the main problems facing them including violence related issues as well as the feeling of lack of stability and security. Families who are still in shelters at this point are the one who no longer have homes to return to.

According to Dr. Dakkak, the Gaza Strip will need fifteen years of rehabilitation before life can go back to normal especially in regards to psychological issues. "In any area of conflict, a minimum of 10% of the population ends up with psychological problems that require long term treatment and follow up", she added.

In addition to rehabilitating a number of health centers that were destroyed during the latest Israeli offensive, UNFPA has already implemented a number of projects that provide reproductive health services, psychosocial support to women and children and distributed humanitarian assistance items to families in shelters.