Gaza fuel crisis update: No long-term solutions in sight

Health and humanitarian conditions in Gaza continue to worsen due to the ongoing electricity crisis.

As stated by the UN on 3 May, only the most critical services are available across Gaza as hospitals are forced to work at minimal capacity. Surgeries are being postponed, sterilisation and cleaning services have been reduced and patients are being discharged prematurely. Medical equipment is rapidly degrading due constant fluctuations in the electrical current.

Water and sanitation services are similarly affected: desalinisation plants are working at only 15% capacity; per capita allocation of water has been halved; and 100,000 cubic metres of raw sewage or poorly treated effluent is being discharged into the sea daily.

Essential services in hospitals and other emergency medical facilities are only able to continue thanks to the UN having provided $500,000 in emergency funds last week to buy fuel for back-up generators. Generators are critical for hospitals in Gaza given the long-term inadequacy of the mains electricity, with outages of 16-20 hours per day.

Even before the 16 April closure of the Gaza Power Plant – which produced around 30% of energy in Gaza – supply was less than half (around 210 MW) of the demand (450 MW). 

The UN warns of additional humanitarian consequences if and when emergency fuel supplies are exhausted, including potential closure of operating theatres, emergency departments and neonatal units.

MAP issued a press release on 28 April highlighting the worsening situation in Gaza and urging immediate international action.