UN warns of severe consequences of growing fuel shortage in Gaza
RAMALLAH, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned Tuesday of crucial consequences due to the growing severe shortage of fuels in hospitals and medical centers in the Gaza Strip.
The Health Ministry in Gaza said earlier that over than 16 medical centers and three minor hospitals had to switch off their electric generators during the past 10 days after they ran out of fuels for operating their electric generators.
The Gaza Strip has been basically passing through a severe shortage of power and electricity, where Gaza electricity company provides maximum four to six hours of electricity per day.
OCHA said in an emailed press statement that the emergency shipment of fuels devoted to hospitals and medical clinics in the Gaza Strip are expected to run out completely within the coming 10 days.
In the Gaza Strip, there are 54 medical centers and 13 hospitals, providing medical services to more than two million people, the vast majority of them are living under the poverty line, according to local and global humanitarian groups.
"It is so important and urgent that the donor countries immediately send new fuels to the Gaza Strip to avoid a real humanitarian crisis due to the severe shortage of power in the coastal enclave," said OCHA.
The Gaza Strip has been basically suffering from a lack of basic needs of energy since Israel imposed a tight blockade on the enclave right after militant Islamic Hamas movement violently seized control of it.
OCHA said that hospitals and medical centers in the Gaza Strip need a total of 6.5 million U.S. dollars to buy 7.7 million liters of fuels to operate its generators and avoid the frequent cuts of daily electricity.