After seven years of Israeli blockade, 1.7 million Palestinians continue to be trapped in the Gaza Strip, largely cut off from the outside world.
Despite the ceasefire, the humanitarian needs remain enormous. Gaza has witnessed its worst destruction in decades with vital infrastructure such as water systems, sanitation and health services badly damaged by the recent violence.
An already vulnerable civilian population has been left more vulnerable. More than 100,000 people have had their homes destroyed. Twenty-five per cent of the population in Gaza - 450,000 people - currently have no access to running water and most areas of Gaza are now without electricity for 18 hours a day.
Many schools, businesses and workshops have been damaged and some completely destroyed. At the same time, farmers have been unable to access their fields to plant their new season of crops.
We welcome the ceasefire as a first step, but long-term peace needs long-term solutions including an end to the blockade.
The blockade of Gaza
- The blockade - now in place for seven years - has devastated Gaza's economy, left most people unable to leave Gaza, restricted people from essential services such as healthcare and education, and cut Palestinians off from each other.
- More than 40% of people in Gaza - nearly 70% of youth - are now unemployed and 80% of people receive aid.
- Many key industries, such as the construction industry, have been decimated as essential materials are not allowed into Gaza.
- Exports are currently at less than 2% of their pre-blockade levels, with the transfer of agricultural produce and other goods to Palestinian markets in the West Bank almost entirely banned.
What Oxfam is doing in Gaza
Working with partners, our humanitarian and development work helps around 350,000 people in Gaza affected by the current crisis and impoverished by the Israeli blockade.
We work with farmers and fishermen who are prevented from accessing their livelihoods, and support a hospital and mobile clinic to provide primary healthcare.
We are currently trucking safe water to those in need and have helped repair water systems and provided generators to keep pumps going. We have installed a new generator at Al Awda hospital and supplied medicine and essential materials to around 49,000 people at mobile clinics and health centers. We have supplied hygiene kits to around 26,000 people.
We run a food voucher project that ensures families have enough to eat and supports the local economy.
We help local producers improve the quality of their produce and get it to market, and we help local civil society to advocate for their rights.
We condemn violence on both sides against civilians who bear the brunt of attacks, and campaign for lasting peace and security for all civilians..
Updated 18 September 2014