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Oxfam in Gaza: the crisis in 26 numbers, and how Oxfam is helping

Posted by Alun McDonald Media and Communications Coordinator for OPTI

1st Aug 2014

Alun McDonald, Media and Communications Coordinator for Oxfam OPTI, sends us a picture of the situation in Gaza by the numbers, and how Oxfam and our partners are working to help.

Behind the bare statistics are real people with names, families, jobs and hopes for the future, but these numbers alone are shocking.


  • More than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed. Around 7,000 have been injured.

  • At least 74% of the dead are civilians, including 252 children. Since the start of the Israeli ground offensive 10 days ago, a child has been killed about every 90 minutes.

  • Three Israeli civilians have been killed, as well as 56 soldiers.

Credit: Iyad al Baba 

Homes and power

  • Up to 450,000 people - a quarter of Gaza's population - have now fled their homes.

  • Around 250,000 of them are sheltering in overcrowded schools (some with up to 80 people sleeping in each classroom), with others taken into homes and other buildings.

  • About 747 residential buildings - home to more than 4,000 families - have been destroyed or severely damaged.

  • The destruction of the Gaza power plant means that most areas are now getting only 0-2 hours of power a day.

Donate to Oxfam's Gaza crisis response 

Water and food

  • Around 1.8 million people - Gaza's entire population - have no or very limited access to water and sanitation services because of destruction of infrastructure and power.

  • Many people are getting just three litres of safe water a day. There is growing risk of disease outbreaks due to the lack of safe water, lack of power, and contamination from sewage. 30 meningitis cases have now been reported as well as skin disease among children.

  • Six of the nine busiest hospitals in Gaza have been directly hit or damaged. Three of them are now closed. At least four Oxfam-supported health clinics have been damaged or shut.

  • The price of food - particularly vegetables - is increasing and has doubled or tripled in some markets.

  • More than 200,000 people need food assistance.

A young girl collects water for her family, surrounded by debris from the latest airstrikes. With massive damage to water systems and other infrastructure, safe water is increasingly scarce for people in Gaza. Credit: Iyad al Baba

Hospitals and schools

  • At least 23 medical facilities have been hit by airstrikes and shelling, including hospitals and health clinics.

  • 137 schools have been damaged by shelling, including UN schools hosting families who have fled.


  • At least 270,000 children need psychosocial care after their homes have been destroyed, they have had to flee, or had family members killed.

Donate to Oxfam's Gaza crisis response 

How Oxfam and partners are responding

  • Oxfam and our partners are now helping about 97,000 people in this emergency response.

  • We are now delivering safe water to more than 74,000 people who have fled their homes and are sheltering in schools, hospitals and other buildings, but it is still very dangerous in many areas.

  • We have distributed food vouchers to 15,981 people, to help them buy essential supplies.

  • We have distributed food packages to 1,006 people.

  • We are helping around 5,000 people with emergency healthcare.

Read More

Header image: Families flee airstrikes and shelling in Khan Younis in Gaza. Around 450,000 people have had to flee their homes so far but there is nowhere safe for them to go. Credit: Iyad al Baba

Blog post written by Alun McDonald

Media and Communications Coordinator for OPTI

More by Alun McDonald