Decades after the conflict first began, life remains precarious for many Palestinians. Economic development has been stifled by political instability, constant conflict, the erection of the West Bank barrier and the continuation of blockades in Gaza. To respond to the resulting levels of poverty, we’re building livelihoods and providing crucial health care.
Almost 30% of the population across the Palestinian Territories live below the national poverty line. Amongst a population of around 4.6 million people, hundreds of thousands of families are struggling with economic hardship. Unemployment levels have reached more than 27%, leaving the area with the highest rate of unemployment worldwide.
In addition, water and electricity shortages across Gaza are putting livelihoods, as well as the health of local communities, at risk. A lack of safe water can be especially deadly for children. In Gaza, due to power shortages, inadequate sewage systems and high levels of salt in the water, 97% of the water is unfit for domestic purposes, posing a huge health risk.
For people across the Palestinian Territories, life is incredibly challenging:
- Over 2.2 million registered refugees live in Gaza and the West Bank (UNRWA, 2019)
- Around half the population across the Palestinian Territories are in need of humanitarian aid (UNICEF, 2018)
- Over 1 million people in Gaza are at risk of contracting water-borne diseases (WHO, 2018)
- At 54%, Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world (World Bank, 2018)
Islamic Relief in the Palestinian Territories
Islamic Relief has been providing humanitarian relief in the Palestinian Territories since 1994. Our projects included food distribution, medical relief and orphan sponsorship, in addition to establishing educational centres, care programs for traumatised children and a school for the deaf.
After the escalation of conflict in 2014, Islamic Relief launched our emergency appeal Rebuild Gaza to restore basic healthcare, education, water and sanitation systems and also provided local families to access education and recover their livelihoods in order to ensure that families could rebuild their lives over the long-term.
We continue to offer a range of critical support across the region, including providing treatment for safer, cleaner water, food and healthcare assistance including support towards the rehabilitation of a local clinic for disabled children.
For communities whose homes have been left damaged by the war, we’ve also supported provided families with essential furniture and other non-food items and services, including children’s educational materials and clothing, along with recreational activities and psychosocial support.