Working to alleviate poverty, hunger, and improving access to healthcare and clean water
Population: West Bank and Gaza Strip, 5 million
- Infant mortality
- Lack of access to basic necessities
- Food insecurity
- Lack of access to healthcare
UMR's Advancement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Palestine
What is the situation in Palestine?
Political instability has created an unsustainable economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza. Combined with declining donor support in recent years, the roughly 5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza have suffered poverty, hunger, and limited resources . Primarily concentrated in urban areas, 39% of the Gaza population and 16% of the West Bank population live below the poverty line, and 44% of the overall Palestinian population is made up of refugee families [2, 3]. Conditions in Palestine have devastated families in the region, as evidenced by the near 50% of the population made up of children 18 years old and younger .
The Gaza Strip is considered as the most densely populated area worldwide, and the annual population growth rate is 2.91%, thus the population is expected to rise. However, the Gaza Strip has been under blockade for 13 years, creating a huge number of complications and restrictions. Nearly 80% of the population has become dependent on international aid. The world’s financial experts have stated that Gaza is facing a serious food crisis. Today, thousands of people go to bed hungry every night in Gaza, as a result of the high rates of unemployment and poverty which stemmed from the 13-year blockade, the three wars, and the intra-Palestine divide. The unemployment rate in Gaza has reached 72% at the peak of Covid-19 which has resulted in even higher rates of poverty which soared up to about 75% according to the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development, and also contributed to rising the rate of food insecurity to 70%. Reports from the Ministry of Social Development show that the rate of suffering from food insecurity varies between acute and medium, according to the conditions of individuals and families in the Gaza Strip.
What types of interventions does UMR implement?
Over the years, UMR has formed a close relationship with the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), and are always one of the first humanitarian organizations to be contacted in times of need. UMR regularly delivers large medical shipments containing essential medicines, supplies, and equipment to equip local hospitals and support the failing healthcare infrastructures. In times of emergencies, UMR works in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) to obtain and deliver Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK), which contain life-saving medical supplies. “The IEHK is designed principally to meet the priority health needs of a population affected by emergencies, who have limited access to routine health care services. Given its use in emergency situations, the IEHK fills immediate health gaps.”
Palestine has several national priorities aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda, including addressing poverty and food insecurity (SDGs 1 & 2) and improving health and well-being (SDG 3). However, unstable political and economic conditions in the region and the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly hindered progress on reaching SDG targets . Read more about Palestine’s priority SDGs here.
UMR has implemented several programs targeting the most vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank to help offset conditions precipitated by ongoing violence:
- As a result of the ongoing violence, health facilities and clinics in Palestine face shortages of medicine and medical equipment. UMR has provided medical shipments to healthcare sites to meet the needs of patients. Learn more about our medical missions here.
- UMR has also distributed food parcels to vulnerable communities in Gaza during the month of Ramadan. Learn more about our food security projects here.