gaza camp / by Maranie Staab

gaza camp. april 2016. 

formally known as “jerash camp”, this 0.75 square kilometers area was established as an "emergency" camp in 1968 for approximately 11,500 palestinian refugees and displaced persons who had left the gaza strip as a result of the 1967 arab-israeli war. 

nearly 50 years later the camp is far more permanent than temporary and is currently home to more than 24,000 registered refugees. 

last week, thanks to a dear friend, i had the opportunity to visit this camp, to meet families that call it home and to learn of the ongoing hardships that this population endures. 

major problems include, but are not limited to, many homes still made of asbestos sheets (many are still being built with the material today due to it’s relative low cost), lack of access to healthcare and education, poor and cramped living conditions, high unemployment and a grim reality that 3 of 4 existing shelters are deemed not suitable for accommodation because of structural problems.