Gaza humanitarian crisis - one year on

UK action and what more is needed

22 December 2009

Gaza 12 months on: responding to need, pressing for action

The most recent conflict in Gaza ended on 18 January 2009. It accelerated the decline of already serious humanitarian conditions.

The international community responded swiftly. The UK was at the forefront of this response. We pledged nearly £47 million pounds to support immediate humanitarian needs, early recovery and reconstruction activities.

Responding to the crisis has been complicated and difficult for the many aid agencies, UN organisations and governments involved. 

Nearly twelve months on from the launch of hostilities and with winter now setting in, public attention is turning back to Gaza.  This is important. The crisis of human dignity which we see today in Gaza remains unacceptable, unsustainable and in the long-term interests of nobody.

We accept that much remains to be done. However, the UK response continues to make a real difference to ordinary Gazans.

For an insider’s account of what UK support has delivered and what more needs to be done, have a look at these postcards from the field:


Gaza stats - 61% of households are food insecure; 13% of the population suffer from sleeping problems as a result of war; 17% of agricultural land destroyed during war; 60% of population do not have access to daily water; 50-80m litres of raw and partially treated sewage is released into the Mediterranean Sea every day; 90% of Gazans experience power cuts of 4-5 hours per day

Photo gallery illustrating the effects of the conflict and how DFID is helping:

Get the flash player here:
A man looks for things worth salvaging from his demolished home in Gaza. Photo credit: UNWRA

A man looks for things worth salvaging from his demolished home in Gaza. Photo credit: UNWRA

With winter rains and cold weather now imminent, the people of Gaza are even more desperately in need of construction materials…as well as regular supplies of fuel, electricity and clean water.

Maxwell J Gaylard

UN Humanitarian Coordinator