Yasser Abu Jamei

Gaza: pressure cooker

Issue section: 

A combination of Israel’s brutal blockade of this small patch of Palestinian land alongside the ravages brought by Covid-19 has produced an enormous level of stress and mental distress for tens of thousands of people. Yasser Abu Jamei, director of Gaza Community Mental Health Centre, reports.

Two million people are living in an area of 365 square km, with only 5 percent portable, piped water and eight hours of electricity a day. This is merely the tip of the iceberg of just how bad living conditions are in Gaza today.

Around half of the population live below the poverty line (53 percent), youth unemployment is almost 70 percent and around three-fifths of households are severely or moderately food insecure (62 percent). The United Nations warned in 2012 that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020 unless basic services and conditions are improved.

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