The Gaza Strip is home to a population of more than 1.5 million people, including 1.2 million Palestine refugees.
For the last decade, the socioeconomic situation in Gaza has been in steady decline. Years of conflict and closure have left 80 per cent of the population dependent on international assistance. The tightened blockade, imposed following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007, has decimated lives and livelihoods, resulting in the impoverishment and de-development of a highly skilled and well-educated society. Despite adjustments made to the blockade by the Government of Israel in June 2010, restrictions on imports and exports continue to severely hamper recovery and reconstruction.
Over half a million Palestine refugees in Gaza live in the eight recognized Palestine refugee camps, which have one of the highest population densities in the world.
The blockade has had a devastating impact on Palestine refugees, including those living in Palestine refugee camps. Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels, particularly among young people.
Operating through more than 11,000 staff in over 200 installations across the Gaza Strip, UNRWA delivers education, health care, relief and social services, microcredit and emergency assistance to registered Palestine refugees.
In recent years, the Agency has made significant improvements to its services in Gaza, such as its schools of excellence and excellent health services initiatives. It also better targets its assistance to the poorest of the poor through the implementation of a proxy-means tested poverty survey. UNRWA continues to:
- Improve the academic achievement, behaviour and values of school students
- Construct desperately needed infrastructure, including schools and shelters
- Improve the quality and targeting of its food and cash assistance to the poorest of the poor
- Promote gender equality and human rights for all
- Nurture entrepreneurship by supporting the private sector
FACTS & FIGURES
- 1,240,082 registered Palestine refugees
- Eight camps
- 245 schools with 232,384 pupils
- Two vocational and technical training centres
- 22 primary health centres
- Eight community rehabilitation centres
- Ten women’s programme centres
Figures as of 1 January 2014