In recent days, violence between the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel, has escalated significantly. Life in Gaza is already hugely challenging, marked by significant humanitarian needs, few options for earning a living, and no way to leave. As a result, 70% of the population in Gaza relies on humanitarian aid for survival. On top of this, a third wave of COVID-19 has been spreading throughout the Strip; in April, there was a nearly 60% increase in active cases in Gaza and 288 deaths. Also underlying the rising needs due to the current crisis is longstanding pervasive poverty in Gaza. The average overall unemployment rate in Gaza reached 49% in the second quarter of 2020 and was likely higher by the end of the year as the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact.
Mercy Corps’ approach in the coming days and weeks will work to address the immediate needs as a result of the escalating violence. We will also monitor and assess the long-term needs. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, over 41,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
Mercy Corps has worked in the West Bank and Gaza since 1986, updating water systems to reduce the spread of disease, distributing emergency food and supplies to families displaced by crisis, providing psychosocial support for young people, and expanding employment opportunities.
We are committed to finding solutions that give people more options and resources to meet their immediate needs, become more self-reliant, and be more resilient to future challenges. We appreciate your consideration of a partnership with Mercy Corps Palestine. With your support, we can meet the critical humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable families.