Gaza Emergency

Gaza Emergency

Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives
Almost one quarter of UNRWA school buildings (156) continue to serve as collective centers. 58,071 IDPs – Palestine refugees and non-refugees – continue to take shelter in 36 UNRWA schools.
Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives
UNRWA asks for US$ 295.4 million in a new Gaza emergency appeal There are now approximately 300,000 people crowding into 85 UNRWA schools in Gaza – a number never before seen in Gaza’s history. The collapse of ceasefire talks in Cairo on 18 August led to the seventh week of hostilities, with violence at an intensity previously only seen during the early days of the conflict. But unlike those early days, aerial bombardment is now concentrated in the west of Gaza, the location of all UNRWA emergency shelters and the bulk of the population. With the Gaza Strip effectively sealed off and the eastern side severely damaged and scattered with unexploded ordnance, people have nowhere to go. The increasing scale of the crisis means that more civilians are relying on UNRWA for help. The Agency is now appealing for a total of US$ 295.4 million to support up to 500,000 displaced people, including more than 300,000 who are expected to continue sheltering in UNRWA schools.
Statement of the Commissioner-General to the UN General Assembly, on the situation in the Gaza Strip
In excess of 1,800 people killed and 9,500 injured, many of them civilians. Up to 450,000 people displaced by the fighting or by instructions from the Israel Defence Forces. Of these, 270,000 were sheltered in 90 UNRWA schools throughout the Gaza Strip. This was over five times the number we had in UNRWA installations during the 2008/9 conflict. Nothing brought home to me the suffering and pain more vividly than my recent visit to the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza where the broken bodies of children – some very young children – and the look of despair and powerlessness on the faces of their parents and relatives, conveyed to me once again a universal tale in war.
UNRWA Condemns Israeli Strike Next to UNRWA School Killing Civilians
This morning at about 1045 Gaza time there was an Israeli missile strike adjacent to the main gate of the UNRWA Boys’ Prep School ‘A’ in the town of Rafah, in southern Gaza. We believe as many as nine people were killed, including an UNRWA guard, and 27 were injured. Almost three thousand people had registered at the school, one of ninety which we are using as temporary shelters for some 260,000 displaced people across the Gaza strip.
Battling a Water Crisis
With no solution in sight for an end to the current conflict, UNRWA is doing what it can to meet the needs of Palestinians in Gaza. Since 13 July, internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been sheltering in UNRWA schools. The Agency continues to prioritize the health and safety of the displaced, including through the provision of water for drinking, cleaning, washing and hygiene purposes. The Gaza Strip relies on water supply from the underlying aquifer which has been over pumped for decades. By 2020 at the latest, Gaza will be effectively without water. Most of Gaza's households have little or no water supply, and if available, the water is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Providing sufficient water to the displaced in UNRWA schools and to other displaced in government facilities is a daily challenge for the Agency, requiring close coordination between UNRWA, private suppliers, municipalities and partners. Water is trucked to shelters at least twice a day. The drinking water tanks UNRWA provided across its shelters are managed by area water focal points, and water quality focal points (WQFPs). Each WQFP is responsible for an average of five shelters. When the trucks...

Latest News

Facts & Figures

The Human Toll


2,101 people killed (as of August 27)


Thousands of people injured


displaced people in UNRWA shelters (as of August 27)



Gaza In Numbers


1.2 million refugees

230,000+ students


8 refugee camps

21 health centres


12,000+ staff members

12 food distribution


245 schools




Gaza Emergency 1
Gaza Emergency Donate Message 2
Gaza Emergency Donate Message 3
Gaza Emergency Donate Message 4

Funding Requirements

The violent conflict in the Gaza Strip that began on 8 July has caused immense human suffering and devastation. The numbers of civilian fatalities, injuries and displacements, and the destruction of homes and other civilian infrastructure, are unprecedented. The emergency in Gaza is far from over.

As of 22 August, a quarter of the total Gaza population is internally displaced as a result of the hostilities. Approximately 300,000 are sheltered in 85 UNRWA schools, 45,000 are hosted in non-UNRWA premises, and at least 137,400 more are in other hosting arrangements. With the summer 2014 hostilities in their seventh week, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge in UNRWA installations has reached levels never before seen in Gaza’s history. As hostilities persist and destruction continues, the number of Palestinians seeking shelter is expected to increase further, along with the humanitarian needs of the population, and consequently also the scope of UNRWA’s response. Additionally, it is evident from the level of destruction of housing that many among the displaced population will not be able to return home once the hostilities have ceased. The Agency has revised–yet again- the projections of assistance needed until the end of the year and the funding required to respond appropriately.

A total of US$ 295.4 million is necessary to enable UNRWA to provide assistance through the end September, within a revised scenario of up to 500,000 displaced people seeking assistance, 65 per cent of whom are expected to continue to take shelter in UNRWA schools.


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