The Empty Pledge for Gaza

The siege was loud and fast, and it saturated media around the world – but many aspects of the aftermath will surely be quiet.
Envoys of dozens of countries gathered last Sunday in Cairo during the one-day international donor conference to rally funds for Gaza’s rebuilding - $5.4 billion were pledged. Funds will go to physical reconstruction – direly needed, as over 100,000 housing units, more than 250 schools, two dozen water wells and kilometers of critical infrastructure pipeline were damaged or destroyed. Some funds will go to immediate relief needs, boosting economic activity and providing budgetary support. But it seems like there is a lot more discussion about inputs than about potential outcomes.
One gaping hole in the dialogue about Gaza? Outcomes for women.
[...] A host of compounding gender-specific problems lurk in Gaza now.
Take healthcare – the destruction of health services is particularly alarming for women. Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical center in Gaza, suffered serious damage in shellings. Medical aid workers fear that the closure of the hospital’s maternal health services for high-risk pregnancies will impact fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality rates. The very most vulnerable mothers and babies will be most at risk. Of course, with over half of Gaza’s hospitals damaged, the entire population will suffer in access to basic care and treatment of chronic conditions, not to mention an increase in the risk of potentially deadly water-borne and communicable diseases.