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UNRWA struggles to provide care for 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza amid Israeli attacks

December 25, 2023 at 9:55 am

Umm Ibrahim Alayan, who is eight-months-pregnant, covers her face as she reacts at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 10, 2023 [MAI YAGHI/AFP via Getty Images]

The UN Palestinian refugee agency is struggling to provide care for at least 50,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip amid relentless Israeli attacks, Anadolu Agency reports.

“There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip, with over 180 giving birth every day,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) said in a statement.

The UN agency said its doctors and midwives “are doing everything possible to provide care for post-natal & high-risk pregnant women at the 7 operational UNRWA health centres.”

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip from the air and land, imposed a siege, and mounted a ground offensive in retaliation for a cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas on 7 October.

At least 20,424 Palestinians have since been killed and 54,036 injured in the Israeli onslaught, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins with half of the coastal territory’s housing stock damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

READ: UN refugee agency says 142 employees killed in Gaza since 7 October