Gaza Strip Situation Overview
According to the UN office of coordination of humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the context in the oPt is a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian consequences. Gaza strip is surrounded by walls and fences, with two gates to the outside world that are mostly closed. It is one of the highest population densities in the world, where 1.82 million People (50% children and 75% refugees) live on a 365 km² narrow strip on the south east of the Mediterranean.
Ten years of blockade, and 25 years of movement restrictions have taken their toll on Palestinians living in Gaza. Social services, including health and education, are overstretched by historical weaknesses and new losses. Poverty, food insecurity, and social vulnerability have rocketed as a result of the mass displacement and destruction of the population. Most households in Gaza can no longer live without external assistance, putting additional pressure on the social protection system.
The widespread devastation of the economic sector and the prolonged suspension of work indicate that the rate of unemployment has jumped significantly and will remain high and critical for a prolonged period.
Greater food insecurity now exists, exacerbated by massive displacement, destruction in the agriculture/fishery sector, lack of cooking gas, fuel, and cooking utensils, and limited access to water.
Thousands of households have lost income sources (due to the death, disabling, or unemployment of workers) and homes (with tens of thousands of houses destroyed or damaged).
The assault on Gaza Strip which took place on 7 July 2014, and lasted for 51 days where the Israeli forces launched a large military operation on the Gaza Strip left thousands of people without homes.
It has worsened an already deteriorated humanitarian situation that was characterized by extremely high rates of poverty (38.8%), unemployment (46.4%) and food insecurity among the Palestinians, due to tightly imposed blockade on Gaza Strip (land, air and sea) (PCBS, 2014).
The recent conflict has reflected badly on almost all categories of the population, with particular effects on the food insecure and vulnerable households including micro businesses.
The 2014 war has reduced Gaza’s GDP by about US$460 million. Construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and electricity sectors were hit the most with output reductions of 83 percent in the construction sector in the second half of 2014 and roughly 50 percent in these other sectors.