Heavy rains and winds add a further exacerbating dimension to the worsening humanitarian crises being faced by internally displaced Palestinians in Gaza.
Children living through war in Gaza are unprepared for the harsh winter weather, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Communications Director Juliette Touma said on Monday.
Speaking after a recent visit to southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, Touma said that as many as 1.4 million Palestinians are forced to live in UNRWA shelter facilities.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) figures published on Monday, approximately 1.9 million Palestinians are now internally displaced in Gaza. This is 85% of Gaza’s population.
“It’s cold, it’s raining,” Touma said during her interview. “I saw children still walking around with their summer shoes, with summer clothes,” she added amid temperatures dropping in Gaza and the rise of infectious diseases.
Tuesday will see a drop in temperature in Palestine, with Friday expected to bring rains and thunderstorms, Palestine’s Wafa News Agency forecasted on Tuesday.
The arrival of winter in Gaza further compounds the worsening humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave.
“Flimsy shelters are now constantly struggling, battered by the strong winds and heavy rain,” said Médecins Sans Frontières’ medical team leader in Gaza, Chris Hook.