The conflict in Gaza has left hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children, living in overcrowded shelters with limited access to food, water, sanitation, and medical supplies.
According to the International Rescue Committee, 95% of residents in Gaza have no access to safe water, and current conditions will “inevitably lead to waterborne illnesses like cholera and typhoid.”
The World Health Organization representative for the area Richard Peeperkorn reported being concerned about disease outbreaks this winter.
“The people within Gaza, they not only have to protect themselves and their families from the constant violence that surrounds them and that is above them but also the disease that’s on the ground,” Dr. Darien Sutton, emergency medicine physician, said.
During the conflict, hospitals in Gaza have been attacked and had no access to fuel and electricity, keeping many from providing basic medical care.
The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate dramatically.
Hospitals are out of supplies.
The health care system is collapsing.
Civilians are paying the highest price; people with no safety, fuel, water or food!
I urgently call for safe & unhindered humanitarian access pic.twitter.com/0zsg3Y6JZ5
— Jagan Chapagain (@jagan_chapagain) November 14, 2023
Israel has defended its attack on hospitals, stating that Hamas has been using them as operating bases.
The Israeli military released a video of a children’s hospital on November 13 that was filled with weapons. One of the rooms was decorated with a children’s drawing of a tree but had explosive vests, grenades, and RPGs displayed on the floor. Rooms in the basement were believed to hold some of the 240 hostages abducted.
Israel has allowed some aid trucks to enter Gaza carrying food, water, and medical supplies, but no fuel. The United Nations and other officials state that’s a small amount compared to the hundreds of trucks that entered Gaza daily before the conflict.
“Before the 7th of October, an average of 500 trucks a day were crossing into Gaza with essential supplies,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General. “Since the seventh of October, only 217 trucks have entered in total. To sustain the humanitarian response on the scale needed, we need hundreds of trucks to enter Gaza every day.”
— Khaled Kraizim (@khaledkraizim) November 11, 2023
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday to allow urgent aid to the area to provide necessary resources to those in need.
More than two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have fled their homes since the war began.