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UN agency warns of increase in diseases among displaced in Gaza

Published : 25 Nov 2023, 22:53

  DF News Desk
People are seen on a street after the first temporary humanitarian truce taking effect in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, Nov. 24, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Rizek Abdeljawad.

At least 1.7 million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip and are facing the danger of significant spread of infectious diseases, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned in a recent statement, reported Xinhua.

Nearly 80 percent of Gaza's population has become internally displaced, with approximately 896,000 displaced persons residing in 99 facilities in the central and southern parts of the region, the OCHA said.

Notable increases in certain diseases, such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, skin inflammation, and hygiene-related conditions like lice infestation, have been recorded due to the overcrowding and poor health conditions in UN shelters, said the statement.

It added that due to limited space in shelters in the south, most of the displaced men and older boys are compelled to stay outdoors, in schoolyards, or on the streets, next to the exterior walls of the shelters.

Around 400 Palestinians reportedly moved on Friday from Gaza City and its northern areas to the south through a "corridor" established by the Israeli army for the evacuation along the Salah al-Din Road, the main north-south traffic artery.

Hunger, the statement said, is the primary reason for the massive displacement, as Gazans residing in the north had not received any food assistance for weeks.

Gaza Municipality has called on the United Nations, the Red Cross, and other international organizations to urgently intervene so as to provide fuel and coordinate with local authorities to deal with garbage pile-up in Gaza City.

"The continued accumulation of waste will deepen the residents' suffering and exacerbate the environmental, health, and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza City," said local authorities.