UN report finds 80% Gazan women relying on food aid

Urges Palestinian women’s leadership in humanitarian efforts in Gaza and West Bank

A new report by UN Women is urging for Palestinian women-led organisations to be placed at the forefront of the ongoing humanitarian response in Gaza and the West Bank. The United Nations’ agency released a new Gender Alert on June 10, 2024, focusing on the work of women-led organisations.

The latest Gender Alert highlighted the dire situation facing Palestinian women, particularly in Gaza, where 80 per cent reportedly rely on food assistance. The report argued that Palestinian women’s organisations have a unique understanding of the challenges faced by women and girls in the region, making them best suited to deliver vital aid.

These 25 organisations collectively employ 1,575 people throughout Gaza and the West Bank. According to the assessment, 89 per cent of the surveyed organisations’ offices have been damaged, with 35 per cent completely destroyed. 

Read more: Gaza Strip: UN warns of increased death & despair as Israel intensifies attack on Rafah

UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous in statement said

The work of women-led organisations in Gaza and the West Bank is as much about the survival of women and girls as it is about maintaining hope, dignity, and the possibility of a better future for those they serve. Investing in their resilience is not just important – it is the key to an inclusive response that leaves no one behind

The report comes amid a long-running conflict that has had a significant impact on Palestinians’ lives. Since May 2024, Israel’s incursion into Rafah has displaced nearly 800,000 people, many of whom have already been displaced several times since October 2023. 

Furthermore, the situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has deteriorated, with more than 500 people killed and 5,000 injured since October 7. As the death toll increases, severe humanitarian needs continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, in a context where needs were already dire before the current escalation, stated the latest Gender Alert.

The Gender Alert is a call to action for international actors to prioritise Palestinian women’s roles in humanitarian aid distribution. This includes providing them with the resources and assistance they require to effectively address the ongoing crisis.

“UN Women and women-led organisations urge the international community and stakeholders to take decisive action: to actively fund women-led organisations, vital for reaching the women and girls most in need; to advocate for increased humanitarian access, enabling these organisations to expand their life-saving responses; and to include women-led organisations in all humanitarian coordination structures to ensure a truly effective and inclusive humanitarian response,” the UN Women statement said. 

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