Decades of political instability have stifled economic development across Palestine. The vast majority of Palestinians, living inside the territories and living as refugees in neighboring regions, depend on international aid for survival. According to the World Food Program, well over 1 million people in Palestine are food insecure, including nearly half of the population of the Gaza Strip. Food expenses can easily consume more than half of an impoverished family’s budget. And work options are extremely limited: Unemployment is close to 20% in the West Bank and a devastating 42% in Gaza.
In addition, continued violence throughout Palestine has severely affected the most vulnerable section of the population — the children. Many Palestinian children suffer from psychological trauma.
Islamic Relief has been providing humanitarian relief in Palestine since 1994, and Islamic Relief Palestine opened its office there in 1998 so that long-term development projects could be implemented and overseen by people in the field.