LET THE AID IN
Gaza: end the blockade let the aid in
MAP is asking supporters to sign our Open Letter calling for an immediate end to the blockade to end the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. The blockade severely limits the ability of aid agencies to deliver assistance in accordance with humanitarian principles. It impacts on every aspect of the lives of Palestinians, affecting their health, their standards of living and devastating their economy. Access of Goods
Lengthy coordination procedures and restrictions have impeded the supply of basic items into Gaza. Health and paediatric hygiene kits are subject to average delays of 68 days, shelter kits 85 days, bedding and kitchen utensils 39 days. The total amount of truckloads of goods entering Gaza is 80% lower than prior to the blockade.
The amount of industrial fuel entering Gaza remains well below needs. This, combined with a lack of spare parts to repair the power network, results in routine shortages and reduced capacity of sewage treatment plants.
Economic Impact The blockade of imports and exports has resulted in the loss of 120,000 jobs. 70% of the population lives on less than $1 a day. Over one million people are dependent on food aid.
Water and Sanitation Upgrades to Gaza’s four wastewater treatment plants have been put on hold because of import restrictions. As a result Gaza’s aquifer has become polluted, with 90-95% of its water now falling below WHO (World Health Organization) safety standards for human consumption.
Construction Materials 20,000 remain displaced as a result of the war. 6,345 houses are in need of major repair. Three hospitals, five health clinics and 114 schools need major repairs or reconstruction.
Direct Effects on Health • In just one month, from June-July 2009, 413 referred patients missed scheduled appointments because of delays processing their applications to leave Gaza. • Since the start of the blockade 81 patients have died whilst waiting for their applications to be processed. Earlier this year, four people died in one month alone. • Lack of safe drinking water threatens the health of millions. The most common infectious diseases in Gaza are related to lack of clean water; watery diarrhoea, acute bloody diarrhoea and viral hepatitis. • Groundwater pollution has increased nitrate levels, leading to a risk of methemoglobinaemia, or Blue Baby Syndrome, in children. • Scores of health centres and hospitals cannot rebuild facilities damaged in the war. • Health facilities depend on expensive back-up generators, severely compromising health provision. • Because of the blockade and internal coordination issues, many drugs are at zero-stock.
All statistics quoted in this pack are from The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the occupied Palestinian territory Logistics Cluster and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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Sign the Open Letter to Gordon Brown and donate online at www.map.org.uk or call 0207 226 7691
Under international law, Israel has a clear obligation to protect and provide basic services to populations living in areas under Israeli occupation.
GAZA: BLOCKADED SINCE JUNE 2007
LET THE AID IN Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has now been in place for two and a half years, controls all access of people and goods into and out of Gaza. Its effects are devastating.
Erez Crossing (very limited public access) (very limited public access) D e ad S e a
The main point of entry and exit for people into Gaza. The crossing is for the movement of aid workers and a limited number of authorised Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases. However, many patients needing urgent medical treatment have been refused permission to leave. In October delays in processing his hospital referral led to the death of a 16-year-old patient with leukaemia.
Nahal Oz Crossing (very limited access) (very limited access) JORDAN
This pipeline, controlled by Israel, is only supplying a fraction of Gaza’s fuel needs. Hospitals are having to depend on unreliable generators for power and many areas of Gaza endure frequent power cuts. As winter draws in, further blocking of fuel supplies could cost lives.
Karni Crossing (closed)
Formerly the main point of entry and exit for goods, Karni crossing has effectively been closed since 11 June 2007. Until Karni crossing is reopened the economy of Gaza cannot recover and rebuilding efforts will remain thwarted.
Sufa Crossing (closed) Formerly providing access to many truckloads of goods every day, Sufa crossing has been closed since September 2008.
Kerem Shalom Crossing (limited access) Now the main point for goods entry, Kerem Shalom is currently open for the limited import of authorised goods. Medicines and medical equipment are often denied entry, with little or no notice or explanation. Goods being allowed in represent just a fraction of the amount entering before the start of the blockade and are completely inadequate for the needs of Gaza’s people.
Rafah Crossing (very limited public access)
(very limited public access)
The main crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The crossing is only open with Israel’s authorisation and on an ad hoc basis for the movement of authorised passengers and Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases. In October Shabaan Mahmoud Abu Harbeed, a 59-year-old man suffering from acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), died after repeatedly being delayed at the border despite his doctors having referred him for treatment in Egypt.
Gaza Sea Port and Airport (closed)
(limited access) Map source – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The sea port has been closed to commercial and civilian passengers throughout the blockade of Gaza and the airport has been closed since it was bombed in 2001.
Published on Dec 23, 2009