Treading water: the worsening water crisis and the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism

In the wake of the devastating destruction in Gaza in 2014, the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) was established as a temporary measure to facilitate the entry of construction materials and a range of items classified and treated as ‘dual use’ by Israel.

Two and a half years on, vital water sector recovery and development remains hampered and fully controlled by the Government of Israel, demonstrating the extent to which Israeli government policies continue to undermine humanitarian response, cause de-development and exacerbate the separation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the world.

This paper analyses the effectiveness of the GRM in improving access to water, health and sanitation services, assesses the roles and responsibilities of a range of actors and identifies urgent steps in relation to the GRM that should be taken to contribute to the development of a just, effective and sustainable water sector in Gaza.