Tuesday, 12 April 2016

UN: 75,000 Palestinians remain homeless in Gaza

A major UN survey has found that up to 75,000 Palestinians remain homeless nearly two years after Israel's last devastating offensive on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) made the findings in an unprecedented survey on Gaza's internally displaced families published Monday, warning that many families were now at breaking point.

"After hearing from over 16,000 displaced families in the Gaza Strip, it is clear that most continue to live in desperate conditions," Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid, said in a statement. "International support to end this situation is urgently needed."

The survey found that more than 80 percent of the families had borrowed money over the past year to survive, with 85 percent buying food on credit, and as many as 40 percent decreasing their consumption of food.

About 63 percent of the displaced Palestinians were renting living space, but nearly 50 percent feared being evicted, OCHA found, adding that the situation for women and girls was of "particular concern."

"Many families report living in shelter conditions that are lacking in safety, dignity and privacy, including living in tents, makeshift shelters, destroyed houses, or the open air," the UN body said in a statement.

Piper said: "Funding is needed more than ever. We face a funding gap to reconstruct some 6,600 houses, or about 37 percent of the overall caseload. Without this support, thousands of Palestinians will see no end to their displacement." more