Gaza’s children at risk from flames

The dangers refugees face from the fuel crisis in their camps

The World Today Published 6 February 2015 Updated 5 January 2021 2 minute READ

Jane Rice

Programme officer, Medical Aid for Palestinians

Children in refugee camps and temporary shelters are at high risk of burns because of chronic overcrowding and a lack of safe electricity and gas supplies.

Nowhere is this more so than in Gaza. Last summer’s conflict saw the displacement of half a million people and destruction of 18,000 houses. The displaced have sought temporary shelter in UN schools, with extended family or in tents next to their bombed out homes. These temporary shelters are far from safe.

Many people living together in cramped conditions around poorly installed heating and cooking elements create dangerous conditions where accidents can easily happen. Electrical burns occur because of faulty wiring, a result of bad construction practices in the rush to rebuild homes.

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