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Gaza: ‘indescribable’ conditions as one million flee Rafah: UNRWA

The city of Rafah on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt was once home to more than a million people forced to relocate after nearly eight months of daily bombardment by the Israeli army, in response to a terrorist attack led by Hamas. religion in southern Israel on October 7.

Thousands of families are currently sheltering in damaged and destroyed facilities in Khan YounisWhere UNRWA continue to provide essential services, despite growing challenges. The conditions are indescribable,” the UN agency said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Biden’s move

This development comes three days since US President Joe Biden announced a ceasefire proposal based on a phased end to the war, said to involve the withdrawal of Israeli forces from construction zones , released Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, along with a plan to free Israeli hostages. Reconstruction of Gaza.

According to UNRWA, thousands of families were forced to seek shelter in severely damaged buildings in Khan Younis. The city, located just north of Rafah, has an estimated 1.7 million people. All 36 UNRWA shelters in Rafah are now emptyit reported.

The United Nations agency has continued to provide basic humanitarian relief despite increasingly difficult conditions, illustrated by a photo of a young girl sitting alone on a rubble-strewn staircase and a photograph Other photos showed huge piles of rubble and twisted metal next to a largely undamaged building.

UNRWA said some 690,000 women and girls are believed to lack basic menstrual hygiene kits, privacy and drinking water.

There is no room for the baby

Highlighting the daily struggles faced by extremely vulnerable people in Gaza, UNRWA cited the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that approx 18,500 pregnant women were forced to leave Rafah. “About 10,000 more people are still there in a desperate situation,” the UN agency said on X. “Access to health care and supplies for mothers is minimal. The health of mothers and babies is at risk.”

‘Pass the crisis’

Reflecting those deep concerns, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said that currently “there is little we can do for those still in Rafah,” where roads are “unsafe, access is limited and most of our partners and other Other humanitarian agencies have had to relocate.”

In an alarming update on the exodus from Rafah since Israeli military activity there escalated, a senior WFP official warned that public health concerns were now being raised. care about. “beyond the crisis level”while “the sounds, the smells, the everyday life is horrifying and apocalyptic”.

People have “fled to places with insufficient clean water, medical supplies and support, limited food supplies and telecommunications outages,” speak Matthew Hollingworth, WFP Country Director for Palestine.


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