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Where is Humanity? Post-war life in Gaza

At least 100,000 Palestinians are still living without adequate shelter more than five months after the end of Israel’s summer attack on the Gaza Strip. Gaza is home to 1.8 million people, and Israel’s attack on the coastal enclave left at least 30,000 houses either fully or partially damaged, representing almost one third of all the homes in Gaza.Besides homes, many schools, hospitals, and water facilities remain in ruins after being targeted and destroyed or damaged this summer.

In the context of such devastation, UNRWA’s announcement last month that it had run out of aid money for Gaza’s reconstruction process rightly provoked a wave of anger that flooded onto the streets in several demonstrations against the international community’s lack of assistance to the people of Gaza. Yet to paint the announcement itself as the crisis-- implying that the reconstruction process had been working up until now-- is misleading, according to many people in Gaza.

While $200 million in aid was pledged by donor countries to rebuild the strip shortly after this summer's war, only 5 percent of this money actually reached Gaza, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), though it is unclear exactly where the money has gone. An additional $5.4 billion in aid was further pledged in October at a donors'conference in Cairo, though according to UNRWA’s Director in Gaza Robert Turner, “virtually none of [the $5.4 billion] has reached Gaza.”

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