As of November 2023, Gaza, Palestine, is in the throes of a severe humanitarian crisis. Over 2.3 million Palestinians are entrapped in Gaza, confronting immense hardship due to escalated conflict. Critical shortages in basic necessities, compounded by a comprehensive blockade, are notable. The healthcare system is on the brink, with critical facilities like Al-Quds Hospital ceasing operations due to fuel shortages and power outages.
Situational Analysis: Timeline of Events
In early October 2023, the onset of escalated violence in Gaza and the West Bank led to the Palestinian Authorities declaring a state of emergency. In response, Muslim Aid Australia (MAA) launched an Emergency Appeal. By mid-October, the situation worsened with intensified bombardment, causing extensive damage to infrastructure and healthcare facilities. Hospitals were besieged and targeted in late October, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, MAA's emergency aid distribution commenced.
By early November, the attacks continued, resources were further depleted, and casualty figures were on the rise. Despite the MAA team being in extreme danger, they continued distributing vital aid at every possible opportunity. Al-Quds and Shifa Hospital announced their operations were out of service by mid-November, deepening the healthcare crisis. At this point, MAA CEO Ayman Eldemallawy and Sheikh Abdel Moez landed in Egypt to coordinate MAA's next distribution phase, dispatching several truckloads of essential food aid and medicine to Gaza.
Statistics: The human toll of the crisis
Approximately 2.3 million people in Gaza are affected. Over 11,240 people have been killed, including more than 4,630 children and 3,130 women. More than 28,000 people have been injured. There is major damage to infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and residential buildings. More than 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are seeking refuge in shelters and other safe spaces.
MAA's Intervention: Providing relief amidst chaos
MAA's Distribution Efforts from items procured inside Gaza, Palestine, and Egypt include 8,380 food and water packs, 800 hygiene kits, 600 clothing sets for women, 10,380 hot meals, and 280 heavy blankets. Also, they have provided an assortment of essential medicines, including antibiotics for serious bacterial infections, drugs to reduce bleeding, and medicines for various common ailments such as heartburn, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.
When a disaster strikes, MAA employs our Triple R philosophy in accordance with our disaster management protocols: Relief, Recovery, and Rebuild. Immediate emergency assistance is provided following a disaster, transitioning efforts are made to rehabilitate lives disrupted by the event, and long-term vision and investment are made in rebuilding communities affected by calamities.
Challenges Facing Aid Distribution in Gaza
The delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza after the October 7th 2023, conflict faces multiple challenges, significantly impacting the capacity to meet the urgent needs of the population. These challenges include a limited supply of essential goods, logistical and security constraints, insufficient aid delivery, fuel shortages, infrastructure damage, conflict and displacement impact, and inspection system delays.
The complexities on the ground are compounded by the volatile security conditions, loss of power and communication, and logistical constraints. Despite these daunting challenges, we employ all available resources and continually adapt our strategies to respond and deliver aid during this critical time in Gaza and the West Bank.
For more information or to contribute to our relief efforts, please visit this our Palestine Emergency Appeal page.