Fuel shortages and worsening sanitation in the Gaza Strip are shaping up to be the perfect storm for tragedy through the spread of disease, the United Nations warned yesterday.
Unicef, the UN children’s agency, said there was a serious threat of a mass disease outbreak in the besieged Palestinian territory.
“Without enough fuel, we will see the collapse of sanitation services. So we have then, on top of the mortars and the bombs, a perfect storm for the spread of disease.
“It’s a perfect storm for tragedy,” Unicef spokesman James Elder told a press briefing in Geneva.
“We have a desperate lack of water, faecal matter strewn across densely populated settlements, an unacceptable lack of latrines, and severe, severe restraints on hand-washing, personal hygiene and cleaning.”
Speaking via video-link from Cairo, Elder said the potential for wider loss of life in Gaza was being significantly exacerbated because an estimated 800,000 children in the enclave are displaced from their homes.