Gaza Humanitarian Emergency

A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza. Oxfam teams are preparing for a humanitarian response to support the 2.2 million people under siege in Gaza.  

Background media: Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the Sousi mosque in Gaza City on October 9, 2023.
Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza following the Israeli response to the appalling attacks by Hamas. Oxfam has been forced to halt all of its humanitarian and development work in Gaza as violence continues to rage across Gaza and Israel. 

We are preparing our response to support the 2.2 million people trapped in Gaza but can only do so when the air strikes and violence stops. All humanitarian operations are now effectively frozen and it is impossible for all agencies to restart them under the continued military escalation. 

The Situation

This page is being updated as the situation evolves. Last update: April 5, 2024

  • Israel and Hamas are involved in the worst outbreak of violence in decades.
  • On Saturday, 7 October 2023, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups from Gaza launched a coordinated assault consisting of land and air attacks into multiple border areas of Israel.
  • Over 1,431 Israelis and other nationals were killed by Palestinian armed forces, including by rockets launched from the Gaza Strip and over 5,400 have been wounded. Around 242 Israelis were captured by armed groups and taken from Israel into the Gaza Strip, and 13 have been allegedly killed in Israeli airstrikes. 
  • On Monday, 8 October, the Israeli government announced a “total blockade” on Gaza, stopping all food, water, electricity and fuel from reaching the already vulnerable population.
  • The siege adds to the ongoing blockade of Gaza, which has endured for over 16 years and has devastated Gaza’s economy, leaving most people unable to leave Gaza and restricting access to essential services such as healthcare and education.
  • Over 32,000 Palestinians across the Gaza Strip have been killed. 70% of those killed are women and children. The daily death toll in Gaza is the highest of any conflict this century. 
  • It is estimated that over 75,000 Palestinians have been injured. Many more are missing.
  • There are 1.7 million displaced people across the Gaza Strip, equal to 75% of the population.

Humanitarian Needs and Impact:

  • Gaza has undergone more than three months of complete blockade, with only a trickle of aid being delivered. 
  • 2.3 million people need water, and essential health, water, and sanitation services are on the brink of collapse. The severely limited access to safe water is leading people to consume brackish water from agricultural wells, triggering severe concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases and cholera.
  • 1.8 million people find themselves food insecure, which is exacerbated by a severe shortage of electricity, fuel, and water in Gaza. 1.1 million people are projected to face catastrophic levels of food insecurity.
  • 24 hospitals are out of service, the healthcare system in Gaza has collapsed.
  • Women and girls face increased challenges in maintaining menstrual hygiene, privacy and safety, and the risk of gender-based violence is higher.
  • Hundreds of newly widowed women and orphaned young girls lack protection and are more at risk of violence, food insecurity, and homelessness.
  • There are critical gaps to health services that affect women and adolescent girls including comprehensive emergency obstetric care, newborn care, SRHR services.

Oxfam Response

The ongoing conflict is making delivery of humanitarian assistance nearly impossible. The total siege and limited access to Gaza means very little food, medical aid, water, fuel, and other essentials are available. Despite these challenges, Oxfam's partners are assisting people in Southern Gaza with resources from Oxfam. So far we have reached 260,000 people since early October with humanitarian assistance.

Support the people of Gaza. Give what you can now so we can provide aid as soon as we are able to do so. Photo: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

What is Oxfam Doing?

Oxfam has been forced to halt all of its humanitarian and development work in Gaza with its local partners as violence continues to rage across Gaza and Israel. Oxfam is preparing to respond, in support of the 2.2m people trapped in Gaza, as soon as conditions allow. 

When we can operate, our response will include providing people with clean water, sanitation and hygiene items, food and other essential household items. We will also rebuild water and wastewater networks that have been destroyed. 

Oxfam has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel since the 1950s and established a country office in the 1980s.  

Your generous donation to Oxfam will help us to deliver emergency food, clean water and sanitation services.

Background media: A Minnie Mouse doll amongst the rubble of bombarded buildings.
Photo: Marwan Sawwaf/Alef MultiMedia/Oxfam

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