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Report warns of rising mental health trauma in conflict-stricken Gaza

By JT - Nov 03,2023 - Last updated at Nov 03,2023

Spearheaded by Mohannad Al Nsour, the appeal provides a critical and comprehensive insight into the alarming situation in Gaza (Photo courtesy of Amman Group for Future Dialogue)

AMMAN — The Amman Group for Future Dialogueshas issued a reporton the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

The report, spearheaded by Mohannad Nsour, provides a critical and comprehensive insight into the alarming situation in Gaza. It comes in light of a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, exacerbated by a 16-year blockade and ongoing challenges that have spanned over 75 years.

At the core of the reportis the stark reality of Gaza’s over-reliance on international aid, with 80 per cent of its population dependent on this support for survival. This reliance is a symptom of a series of interlinked crises, including overpopulation, a substantial youth demographic fraught with limited opportunities, widespread displacement and acute shortages of basic necessities such as food and clean water. The report delves into these issues by providing a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted challenges facing the region, according to an Amman Group for Future Dialogues statement.

The infrastructure in Gaza is in a state of disrepair, with critical networks, such as water, sewage and electricity severely damaged, thus causing a humanitarian crisis directly impacting the lives and health of the population. The report emphasises the fragility of Gaza’s healthcare system, which is now on the brink of collapse. Hospitals and healthcare facilities, already overwhelmed by demand, face shortages of basic supplies, medications and consistent electricity, all of which are factors hinderingtheir ability to provide essential services.

Vulnerable groups in Gaza, including pregnant women, children, the elderly and individuals with chronic illnesses, are particularly at risk in this deteriorating healthcare landscape. The report also sheds light on the rising mental health issues among both the general population and healthcare workers, exacerbated by continuous conflict and trauma. This aspect of the crisis is often overlooked but is equally critical, as it underlines the long-term psychological impact of the ongoing strife on individuals and communities, the statement said. 

The report examines the potential wider implications of the crisis in Gaza, particularly its impact on regional and global health and security. The situation in Gaza is not isolated; as it has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond its immediate geographic boundaries. Consequently, the report calls for immediate and coordinated international interventions, not just as a humanitarian response to the current crisis, but also as a preventive measure against the potential spread of disease and the escalation of health and security threats.

The urgency of uninterrupted humanitarian and healthcare access in Gaza is a central theme of the Group’s appeal. The appeal underscores the need for adherence to international humanitarian law, particularly in protecting civilians in conflict zones. It is a reminder of the critical role that the international community plays in mitigating such crises and the importance of a unified response to humanitarian emergencies.

In its call to action, the Amman Group for Future Dialogues stresses the need for a global and cooperative response to the crisis in Gaza. The group advocates for interventions that not only address the immediate needs of the population but also aim for long-term sustainable solutions. These solutions are crucial for restoring peace and stability in the region and for improving the overall living conditions of its inhabitants.

The report concludes with a reminder of the shared responsibility of the international community in responding to and preventing such humanitarian crises. It calls for global solidarity and action, emphasising the need for a collaborative approach to address the complex challenges facing Gaza. The group’s report serves as a call to the world to not only witness but actively engage in efforts to bring about lasting change and hope to the people of Gaza, the statement concluded.

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