Posted on 27 April 2017

UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities releases emergency funding for fuel for hospitals in the Gaza Strip

Fourteen-year-old Mohammed undergoing kidney dialysis at Ash Shifa hospital in Gaza, 27 April 2017. Photo by OCHA
Fourteen-year-old Mohammed undergoing kidney dialysis at Ash Shifa hospital in Gaza, 27 April 2017. Photo by OCHA

The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, expressed concern about the deteriorating energy situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift action from Israeli and Palestinian authorities and members of the international community to protect the provision of critical basic services to Gaza’s 1.9 million residents.

“With power outages at 20 hours a day and emergency fuel supplies running out, basic services are grinding to a halt,” warned Mr. Piper.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, fuel to power back-up generators at seven out of 13 hospitals in Gaza is expected to run out within three days. Already, residents of high-rise buildings no longer receive regular water supply, due to lack of power for pumps to reach higher levels, and some 110 million litres of raw or poorly treated sewage is flowing into the Mediterranean Sea every day due to lack of energy to treat it.

To avoid further deterioration, the oPt Humanitarian Fund, led by the Humanitarian Coordinator, approved today the allocation of US$ 500,000 for the purchase of emergency fuel to maintain the delivery of essential services at hospitals and other emergency medical facilities.

On 16 April 2017, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) shut down completely, after exhausting its fuel reserves which increased power outages in Gaza as well as forced additional reliance on back-up generators to power basic services. Malfunctioning of electricity lines coming from Egypt has exacerbated the outages. Gaza’s longstanding electricity deficit has been also affected by the restrictions on the import of goods imposed by Israel as part of a land, air and sea blockade, now in its 10th year.