The Big Open Air Prison is how people refer to the Gaza Strip. Under siege since 2005, freedom of movement is highly restricted for the population of 1.9 million, 1.4 million of them refugees, fifty percent of whom are under the age of 18 years. Unemployment reaches close to 44% while poverty touches almost 8 out of 10 persons living on the 212 square miles territory, with the overwhelming population depended on some form of aid. Occasionally there are martial confrontations with Israel with heavy costs to the civilian population.
Since March 30, 2018 the Great March of Return rallies had spirited thousands of Gazans, a majority of whom refugees, to join the March towards the fence bordering on Israel to demand the exercise of the right of return to their homes and lands. It is estimated that until mid-November 2018, some 210 people were killed and over 18,000 of the marchers were injured by gunfire from Israeli soldiers at the fence. There were heart wrenching stories about killings and injuries that took the lives of medical and media personnel; even a quadriplegic who marched towards the fence on his wheelchair while carrying a Palestinian flag.
DSPR Gaza tends to the wounds of some of those injured and offers also psychosocial support to them and their families, in addition to emergency relief and temporary economic support in the form of temporary employment. Our presence in Gaza continues with high quality preventive primary care to thousands of expecting mothers, infants and children. The stamp of quality of our vocational training centers for young men and women is acknowledged both locally and internationally. Community and family support given by our dedicated professional staff members is appreciated. We continue to strive to optimal delivery of needed health, vocational, communal and personal services through arranging for our staff members opportunities for in training in the various specializations.
Come visit us in Gaza.