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Gaza Situation - Report 51

24 hour reports by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Due to the dramatic escalation in violence over the past few days and the massive assault on Gaza, UNRWA has declared an emergency in all five areas of the Gaza Strip. It is closely monitoring the situation and stands ready to mount an emergency response should that become necessary. The priority for the Agency has now shifted to emergency operations, providing assistance to those who have been displaced and sought shelter in UNRWA schools, while attempting to continue regular operations. Urgent funding needs persist and are increasing

Key parts:

The number of IDPs staying in UNRWA shelters is 52,235. 60 shelters remain open. Over the next couple of days UNRWA is expecting the IDP numbers to stabilize. It is still premature to draw conclusions regarding the number of IDPs who would opt to remain in UNRWA shelters for a longer period of time as their homes are uninhabitable, and those that may be able to return to their homes or seek alternative shelter options, such as staying with host families.”

UNMAS [United Nations Mine Action Service] reassessed 28 installations for unexploded ordnance (UXO), with two of them requiring further work as there is possibly UXO in them. UNRWA staff began cleaning UXO cleared schools in the North to prepare for resumption of the new school year in coordination with the Ministry of Education.”

The cumulative death toll among Palestinians is at least 2,104, according to preliminary data collected by the Protection Cluster from various sources, including 377 persons who could not yet be identified or their status established. Of the initially verified cases, 1,462 are believed to be civilians, including 495 children and 253 women, and 265 members of armed groups.

One of UNRWA’s dedicated health staff is Dr. Kefah El Najjar. She lives in Gaza City and commuted to the Health Center in her car to work as Senior Medical Officer in Jabalia in the North of the Gaza Strip. Dr. El Najjar stated, with tears in her eyes, that during the emergency she was scared every day: 'When I left my house, I prayed to God that I can reach the Health Center safely. While at work, I prayed to God to save my family at home. My kids tried to stop me from coming to work every day. Still many patients came to my health center, so of course I continued coming to work.'”

Since the start of the military escalation, UNRWA Health Centers (HCs) in Gaza have recorded, as of 27 August, 566,150 patient visits.

UNRWA’s regular food distribution to a total caseload of over 830,000 beneficiaries continued. Food rations were provided to 3,995 families through UNRWA distribution centers.”

Data on damage to UNRWA installations is based on preliminary information and subject to change based on further verification. UNRWA estimates that 110 installations have been damaged since 8 July 2014.

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