Following the escalation of violence in May 2021, the daily lives of people in Gaza has worsened. Humanity & Inclusion works to support people facing unique challenges, including children with disabilities.
In May, 261 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,210 Palestinians were injured, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Thirteen people in Israel were also killed during the conflict.
In response to the conflict six months ago, Humanity & Inclusion provided informal education services and psychosocial support through inclusive recreational summer activities to children. Through Explosive Ordnance Risk Education, teams taught children how to safely spot, avoid and identify any dangerous weapons leftover by the conflict. The project implemented inclusive summer activities such as sports, art and life skills, which targeted 1,860 boys and girls. Among them were 700 children with disabilities.
"I hope to spend more time in the summer activities and listen to more exciting stories, which I loved so much. When I was participating in the music activities, I grabbed the microphone and pretended to be singing! Sound came out at that time, and I hoped my voice would reach my mum; I missed her.”
—Lamar Zyara, 12, who lives with a hearing disability
So far, project accomplishments include:
- Implementation of 30 inclusive summer recreational activities
- Participation of 1,860 children with and without disabilities in inclusive summer activities and EORE sessions
- Distribution of 1,800 psychosocial support and education recreational kits to children with disabilities who were not able to participate in summer activities due to COVID-19, health situations and or other barriers
In cooperation with the emergency committee, consisting of 19 local organizations, Humanity & Inclusion also distributed 586 infection prevention and protection kits including items such as masks and hand sanitizer, as well as 677 first aid and hygiene kits for displaced families. The organization supported five services providers with protective equipment. Teams also distributed 1,085 assistive devices—including crutches and wheelchairs—to people with injuries.
The current humanitarian situation
Six months after the escalation of hostilities, humanitarian needs remain and reconstruction efforts are stalled. During the escalation, 331 school facilities were damaged. Since then, most construction materials have been prohibited from entering Gaza impeding the reconstruction of schools that can be very long.
The violence has further deteriorated the already poor humanitarian conditions faced by Palestinians: barriers to accessing basic services, increasing poverty and unemployment rates. For example, 1.3 million people, including 611,000 children, have experienced additional challenges in accessing basic services, such as water and healthcare, as a result of the conflict escalation in May.
Approximately 8,250 individuals are still displaced, primarily those whose houses were destroyed or too damaged to be inhabitable. Many people who sustained injuries may develop long-term disabilities requiring rehabilitation.