OCHA warns Rafah escalation

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Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 9th Feb.
UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA on Friday warned that the unprecedented population density in Rafah in southern Gaza makes it impossible to protect civilians in the event of ground attacks. 

Over half of Gaza’s population, 2 million is now crammed into Rafah on the border with Egypt and home to some 250,000 people.

OCHA said congestion has reached a point where normal routes are blocked by tents set up by families seeking any flat, clean space available. 

Rafah has produced the equivalent of a year’s worth of garbage in past 3 months according to municipal authorities. 

The scarcity of food, clean water, health services and sanitation facilities have led to the outbreak of preventable diseases as well as deaths, OCHA said. 

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jamie McGoldrick, said that fuel, generators and spare parts are urgently needed to improve people’s access to clean water.

He noted that the southern Gaza desalination plant is only working at up to 15 per cent of its original capacity.

Humanitarians estimate that 100,000 families in Gaza need shelter support, including tents for winter weather and other supplies.  

They have distributed some 40,000 tents since the start of the war on 7 October, with 28,000 more in the pipeline, it added.

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