Days of Palestine

Wednesday, May 31

OCHA Reports Increase of Mental Disorders amongst Palestinians in Gaza

M.Y | DOP -

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported an increase in the levels of mental disorders amongst Palestinians in Gaza, especially among children, many of whom were already in need of mental health services and psychosocial support.

OCHA said that over 3-day Israeli aggression on Gaza in early August, the Israeli occupation launched 147 airstrikes throughout Gaza while causing great damage to all sectors in the city.

Briefing the Security Council on 8 August, Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, reported that 46 Palestinians had been killed and 360 injured in the Israeli aggression on Gaza last August.

in a statement welcoming the ceasefire, Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that 17 Palestinian children were among those killed in Gaza in August, and the Israeli bombs are taking a heavy toll on all young people living in the Strip.

“the humanitarian situation in Gaza is already deteriorating, and this latest escalation will only make matters worse. We stand ready to work with all parties to ensure that humanitarian needs are met,” said Lynne Hastings, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian lands after visiting one of the Palestinian victims of the aggression in Gaza.

Dr. Yousef Shahin, head of UNRWA’s Disease Prevention and Control Program, said that the Agency’s mental health and psychological support program, to treat more than 87,000 cases, is highly required in Gaza.

For his part, Dr. Sami Owaida, the head of the Gaza Mental Health Program, explained that the Israeli 15-yea-blockade on Gaza is a great reason for the psychological issues the people face in Gaza.

“More than 65 percent of the population of Gaza live below the poverty line, and more than 60 percent are unemployed,” He said.

Owaida added, “people in Gaza live in a state of frustration and psychological deterioration as a result of the deteriorating economic, social and political conditions”.

The Israeli aggression on Gaza in May 2021 led to a psychological, economic, and health crisis in Gaza, as the Israeli warplanes damaged hundreds of civil, economic, and health facilities throughout Gaza, Which raised the poverty and un on top of dealing with electricity and water cuts, high rates of poverty, and unemployment rates.

It’s noteworthy that more than two million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, while there is only one mental health hospital, with a capacity of fifty beds, to serve the five governorates in the Strip, due to the Israeli blockade on Gaza and preventing the necessary equipment and materials enter Gaza.