The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has hit frightful levels, prompting urgent calls from the United Nations (UN) for immediate action to lessen the growing suffering of the Palestinian population.
As of the latest update, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, reported that over 338,000 Palestinians have been displaced. Alarmingly, nearly 218,000 of these displaced individuals are seeking refuge in 92 schools. The schools are operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
However, the UN has reported that airstrikes have struck at least 88 education facilities. These include 18 UNRWA schools and 70 Palestinian Authority schools. Thus, severely impacting the access to safe educational spaces for over 600,000 children in Gaza.
The cruel toll of the conflict extends beyond displacement and educational disruption. UNRWA has lost 12 of its personnel since October 7, shedding light on the dangerous conditions aid workers are facing on the ground. Hospitals in Gaza are struggling to cope with the influx of casualties. Moreover, the World Health Organization warned that they are at a breaking point.
The International Committee of the Red Cross added to the assessment. They cautioned that hospitals risk becoming morgues due to power losses amid relentless airstrikes. In addition to the severe strain on healthcare facilities, shortages of other resources like food, water, and electricity further worsen the crisis.
As a result, the World Food Programme (WFP) has outlined plans to collaborate with UNRWA to reach over 800,000 people across Palestine. Their recent efforts include delivering food to more than 175,000 displaced individuals across 88 shelters.
Against these challenges, an Israeli military order to evacuate the entire population of northern Gaza has raised alarm within the international community. The UN has termed this move as “impossible” without causing fatal humanitarian consequences. The Israeli military instructed the evacuation of approximately 1.1 million people in the specified region. These include UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities. The UN has fervently appealed for the cancellation of this order to prevent the escalation of the already dire situation.
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The death toll in Gaza continues to mount, with over 1,500 casualties reported by the Palestinian health ministry. More than 2 million Palestinians residing in the Hamas-run enclave are struggling with the harsh reality of an “open prison.” The international community remains firmly engaged, urging both parties to the conflict to prioritize civilian safety and humanitarian needs.