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International organisations call on all parties to ensure protection and humanitarian assistance for people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza: International call for protection and assistance for people with disabilities

Since 8 July, the people of Gaza have lived under the threat of death and injury due to the escalation of cross-border violence. A number of facilities for people with disabilities have also been destroyed or damaged by air missiles and artillery. Read the call by Diakonia and other international organizations for protection and assistance for people with disabilities. 

7/22/2014 Publisher: Dona Khoury

15 per cent of the population in the Gaza Strip are people with disabilities

Of the 1.8 million people living in the Gaza Strip, the World Health Organisation estimates that around 15 per cent are people with disabilities. As of 20 July, at least 375 people have been killed and over 3,000 more have been injured.

Damages on hospitals and rehabilitation centers

At least 4 people with disabilities are confirmed to have been killed in this latest round of violence. A number of facilities for people with disabilities have also been destroyed or damaged by air missiles and artillery including Al-Mabarra Centre for People with Disabilities, where two people with disabilities were killed and four were injured, Al-Bassma Club, and Al-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital.

Difficulties evacuating

Although warnings are occasionally issued shortly before military strikes are conducted on areas where civilians are located, people with disabilities are likely to face difficulties evacuating before the strikes are carried out. Equally, while many Palestinians in high-risk areas are taking refuge in the homes of family members and in UN shelters, it is probable that people with disabilities will have experienced trouble relocating. In addition, the continuing violence has severely disrupted medical supplies and support services, which seriously affects the delivery of assistance to people with disabilities.

People with disabilities must be protected

We are particularly concerned to ensure that displaced and injured people with disabilities are identified and provided with needed assistance through an inclusive emergency response that they can fully participate in. We are also concerned about preventing long-term impairments from injuries caused by airstrikes, artillery, unexploded ordnance and other hazards. For this reason, it is vital to ensure that injured people have access to medical and rehabilitation services in a secure environment.

Download the call