Gaza Unlivable By 2020
The Gaza strip will cease to be a liveable place by the year 2020 according to a new comprehensive report from the United Nations. The besieged Palestinian territory already suffers from a dire lack of drinking water, sanitation and infrastructure which is only likely to get worse unless immediate action is taken to improve the humanitarian situation there claims the UN special report.
"Action needs to be taken now if Gaza is to be a livable place in 2020 and it is already difficult now," UN humanitarian co-coordinator, Maxwell Gaylard said on Monday. The lack of clean drinking water is the greatest immediate concern in the impoverished enclave and urgent action is needed to protection the limited existing water resources. Gaylard called for international help saying, "despite their best efforts, the Palestinians in Gaza still need help. They are under blockade. They are under occupation and they need our help both politically and practically on the ground."
Sanitation, water, electricity, social, and municipal services as well as infrastructure are "not keeping pace with the needs of the growing population," the UN report pointed out. Only a quarter of Gaza’s sewage is treated and the rest, including raw sewage, goes into the Mediterranean according to the report.
There are power shortages and failures on a daily basis and fuel is at an all time low at the moment and around 45 per cent of the 1.6 million population is unemployed.
By 2020, ‘Gaza will need 440 more schools, 800 more hospital beds, and over 1,000 more doctors’ Robert Turner, the director of operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said.
The UN official highlighted the importance of termination of the Israel-imposed blockade which has been in force since June 2007 after the democratically-elected ‘Hamas’ took over the administration of the territory. The siege has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, which many see as little more than the world biggest open air prison.
The report envisioned little economic growth during the next eight years almost exclusively due to the Israel imposed restrictions, that have effectively isolated Gaza from the outside world, with limited supplies being allowed in, despite a relaxation of the tight controls in 2010.