Nearly 384,200 internally displaced people (IDPs) are sheltering in 90 UNRWA shelters in the Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas of the Gaza Strip. Due to continued bombardments in the southwest of Gaza area, in the last 24 hours the number of IDPs in the southern areas has increased by 16,000, with more than half of this increase in Rafah.
On 12 October 2023, before the evacuation order from the Israeli Authorities, nearly 160,000 IDPs were sheltering in 57 UNRWA schools in the northern and Gaza City governorates. UNRWA is no longer able to assist or protect the displaced in those areas and does not have information on their needs and conditions.
In an effort to improve conditions and reduce overcrowding at the Khan Younis Training Centre, where 17,000 IDPs are sheltering, UNRWA distributed 80 tents. UNRWA has not established any new camps in the Gaza Strip. The total number of Palestine Refugee camps in the Gaza Strip remains eight.
Living conditions in shelters are dire, with up to 70 people per classroom. Overcrowding, lack of privacy, limited availability of water and sanitation facilities are causing increased psychological distress. Anxiety, fear and grief are rising due to relentless Israeli Forces airstrikes, bombardments and the loss of family members, loved ones and people's homes. Tensions amongst IDPs are increasing, including reports of violent disputes in UNRWA shelters.
To provide a safer environment, women and children are accommodated in classrooms at night while men and adolescent boys stay outdoors in the schoolyards. UNRWA has some counsellors and social workers in the shelters. They provide psychological first aid and other specialized protection services. In all shelters, displaced persons established committees to help with their management.
In cooperation with the World Food Programme, (WFP) bread continues to be distributed at shelters. However, due to the increasing numbers of IDPs on a daily basis, bakeries are overwhelmed and do not have the capacity to produce sufficient bread. In coordination with other UN agencies, UNRWA is providing logistics support to provide health care and potable water to shelters.
Area general updates
One more UNRWA colleague was confirmed killed in the Gaza Strip, bringing the total number to 17 since the war began.
In Gaza, two UNRWA schools sheltering IDPs in the Middle Area and Khan Younis and one health centre were impacted.
UNRWA is conducting a Rapid Gender Analysis to better respond to the impact of the current conflict.
UNRWA and UN partners are prepositioning supplies at Al Arish ahead of a potential opening of the Rafah crossing. The Agency is ready to support distribution of supplies able to enter the Gaza Strip to populations in need.
In the West Bank, there was an Israeli incursion into Nur Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarem. 13 Palestinians were killed and roads, electricity and water networks damaged.
Protection of Civilians
According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 4,137 people have been killed since 7 October, including 1,661 children, and 13,162 injured, including 4,232 children.
According to the same source, an additional 1,400 people are missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings, including 720 children.
One UNRWA staff who was critically injured earlier in the conflict died. The total number of UNRWA colleagues confirmed killed since 7 October is 17.
Five UNRWA personnel have been injured, one of them critically. All were injured while on duty. Since 7 October, 15 UNRWA personnel have been injured.
An UNRWA school in Khan Younis was hit. Three IDPs sheltering at the school were killed and 55 were injured. The school sustained minor damage.
An UNRWA school in Nuseirat Camp, in the Middle Area, was affected by collateral damage due to a nearby strike. Eight IDPs and two UNRWA personnel were injured, while one person was killed. Since the beginning of the war, over 160 IDPs sheltering at UNRWA schools have been injured while 12 have been killed.
An UNRWA health centre in Nuseirat Camp in the Middle Area, was also affected by collateral damage.
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 7 October, 82 Palestinians have been killed and 1,425 injured (OCHA).
The situation in the West Bank is increasingly tense. There was a major Israeli incursion into Nur Shams, from 19 – 20 October, which resulted in the deaths of 13 Palestinians, including 11 from inside the camps. Streets were damaged and electricity and water lines cut. The UNRWA health centre sustained minor damages; no other damages to UNRWA installations were reported. The Agency is assessing the situation.
In Israel, 1,400 people have been killed and another 4,629 injured according to Israeli sources.
UNRWA is providing health care in 90 shelters through 77 mobile medical teams and 80 mobile medical points.
According to UNRWA, initial health assessments, among the IDPs there are nearly 13,400 persons with non-communicable diseases, over 3,200 pregnant women and over 200 post-natal cases requiring medical attention.
UNRWA stocks of medicines continue to decrease, with around 15 days' supply remaining overall and one week's supply of insulin. Some items may run out sooner based on needs at shelters.
Fuel stocks in the functional health centres are running extremely low, thus hampering the provision of primary health care in UNRWA health centres.
Since 7 October UNRWA has provided 3,000 individuals with psychosocial services.
Some solid waste collection from the camps and emergency shelters and transfer to landfills continue in Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas. The scarcity of fuel and staff is negatively impacting solid waste management activities.
The number of available water trucks is insufficient to provide water to all shelters and water tanks can be refilled only once a day. Considering the number of people in the shelters, the water provided is barely or not enough to cover the needs of the internally displaced people in UNRWA shelters.
At least 36 UNRWA installations in Gaza have been impacted since the war began.
UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency's area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.
UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.
UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development. It does this through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.