80% of Gaza population suffer power shortage, ICRC says

A Palestinian girl uses a gas lamp during a power cut in Gaza (Mahmud Hams - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 3, 2021

Eighty per cent of the population of the besieged Gaza Strip suffer from severe power shortages, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced yesterday.

“80 per cent of Gaza’s population live much of their lives in the dark, with only 10-12 hours of electricity per day,” the ICRC said in a recent study, warning that the issue had become “extra problematic during the peak of summer.”

The report added that the power cuts were posing a “threat to the health and daily life for Gazans, with the majority of the population being unable to refrigerate food and wastewater treatment plants unable to operate.”

“While some can afford additional electricity supply through generators at least 500,000 people cannot afford additional power, so they are forced to spend most of their day without electricity,” the ICRC pointed out.

Gaza has suffered a severe energy crisis due to Israel’s ongoing siege which limits the supply and entry of fuel needed to power the Strip’s only power plant. As a result, the plant produces only 50 per cent of the Strip’s demand. Gaza also receives 120 megawatts of electricity from Israel and 30 more from Egypt.