Over a million children in Gaza are living in impoverished circumstances due to electricity shortages, causing problems for public health and education, warned Save the Children on Tuesday.
The international NGO says Israel’s ongoing land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, which has been in place since 2007, is the primary cause of the electricity shortages.
Save the Children also highlights that Gaza’s sole power plant had stopped functioning in April 2017 after exhausting its fuel reserves, since operators could not replenish them due to insufficient funds. The plant, already damaged from Israel’s war on Gaza in 2009, had provided a third of Gaza’s electricity.
“The Palestinian Authority stopped funding electricity to Gaza in April 2017. Egypt as a supplier had dropped out too, despite reportedly offering Gaza’s power plant a recent emergency boost, which leaves Gaza dependent on Israel.”
Most homes in Gaza now have just two to four hours of electricity per day, while some have no one at all. Many children spent the recent Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha in the dark.
“While politicians celebrate Eid and sleep in their air-conditioned homes, Gaza’s children are sweating in the stifling summer heat, unable to sleep, play or study”, said Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Country Director in the Occupied Territories. “We shouldn’t have to be demanding such a basic service as electricity for the children of Gaza. A couple of hours of power a day is just not acceptable in 2017.”