The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is dire and worsening by the day.
More than 25,000 tonnes of explosives have been used on the Gaza Strip since October 7th, equivalent to two nuclear bombs, causing widespread devastation and loss of life.
With 70% of the Gaza Strip’s civilian facilities and infrastructure reportedly destroyed, and an estimated 1.9 million people internally displaced, civilians in Gaza could be at risk of death and injury from explosive remnants of war for years after the conflict ends as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Messages providing guidance on how to identify and take safe measures around explosive and other threats are essential as the conflict persists and ongoing displacement exposes people to the widespread explosive ordnance contamination across Gaza.
Prior to October 7th, MAG had been partnering with UNMAS, the UN Mine Action Service, to deliver explosive ordnance risk education and conflict preparedness and protection messages in Gaza through social media.
This life-saving information gives civilians the power and knowledge to be better prepared and protected against the use of explosive weapons, and other conflict related threats.
Following October 7th, MAG stepped up its response, reaching more than a million people in Gaza each month with messages adapted to the worsening humanitarian situation that better enable families to prepare and protect themselves.
Our messages include guidance on how to recognise and respond to explosive threats including white phosphorous, how to prepare for and what to do during a bombardment, and steps to evacuate in an emergency.
With access to Gaza for humanitarian agencies like MAG severely restricted, and despite challenges in connectivity due to electricity cuts and blackouts, social media has enabled us to deliver risk education messages to the 2.2 million people in Gaza facing extreme hardship and regular threats to their lives.
Social media enables us to target large numbers of people in a specific area and overcome obstacles posed by security, geography and complex operating environments that limit the delivery of face-to-face risk education.
MAG will continue to work alongside our humanitarian partners to do everything we can to protect civilians in Gaza.
Watch more about how MAG is responding to the crisis:
Header image credit: Emad El Byed (Unsplash)