Revised food baskets aim to improve nutrition among food insecure refugees in Gaza

At the end of January, UNRWA completed a comprehensive revision of the contents of its food assistance rations aimed at improving them against three main criteria: (i) health and nutritional values; (ii) public acceptability and local food habits; (iii) availability and logistical practicalities. The new baskets will be launched during the April-June food distribution round for all 960,000 beneficiaries.

OCHA team surveying a displaced family in Rafah, December 2015

Reconstruction of 15 per cent of homes destroyed or severely damaged during the 2014 hostilities

At the end of 2015, more than 16,000 families (over 90,000 individuals) remained displaced as a result of the 2014 Gaza-Israel hostilities, which destroyed 11,000 homes and severely damaged or rendered uninhabitable an additional 6,800 homes. The living conditions of these families raise a range of protection concerns, including overcrowding, limited access to basic services, lack of privacy, tensions with host communities, risks due to unexploded ordnance and exposure to adverse weather.

Total number of patient permit applications per month, (Jan-Oct, 2015)

Rise in medical referrals out of Gaza, but decline in approval of exit permits

Ministry of Health (MoH) referrals of Gaza patients to non-MoH medical facilities have risen significantly in 2015: referrals from January-October are 17 per cent higher than the equivalent figure for 2014. By the end of 2015, the number of referrals out of Gaza is expected to exceed the historic high of 2014. However, actual access for these patients to the facilities to which they were referred has become more difficult due to lower approval rates for exit permits.

Winter 2013 in Gaza

Flood preparedness in Gaza undermined by import restrictions

As the rainy season begins, thousands of families in Gaza will once again be at risk of temporary displacement and destruction of their assets due to potential floods. The winter weather conditions are expected to exacerbate the already fragile living conditions and livelihoods of the population, particularly IDPs.

Farmers start to replant their land in Beit Hanoun. Photo by the International Committee of the Red Cross

Restoring access to land in Gaza’s restricted area along the perimeter fence

The ICRC is one of the few organizations that can access the restricted areas in border areas along Gaza’s perimeter fence with Israel, and the organization is facilitating the relevelling and ploughing of farm lands in these areas. By the end of 2015, for the first time in over a decade, approximately 500 farmers will be able to access farm land situated between 100 and 300 meters from the fence, in areas that farmers have not been able to cultivate for the past seven to 15 years.