The people in Gaza continue to suffer from rolling blackouts as its lone power plant is unable to meet the demands of residents and the Israeli occupation blocks access to help.Current supplies of electricity only meet about two-thirds of the demand within Gaza, thus rolling blackouts of between 6-18 hours a day have been necessary, some planned, and some random and unscheduled. Demand is about 360 megawatts (MW) a day, but the sole power plant is only able to produce approximately 80 MW. Israel and Egypt supply an additional 120 and 22 MW each respectively which is still short of the amount necessary.
Humanitarian agencies and countries in the region have all attempted to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza, but the blockade continues to hamper efforts to do so. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, in effect since 2006, has meant water, fuel, and electricity shortages, in addition to the lack of access to medical care and basic necessities. Israel closed the borders of Gaza, in effect making all inhabitants prisoners after Hamas was democratically elected to lead the government there.
One of the effects of the blackouts has been a decrease in access to medical care. According to the UN, the average wait time for orthopedic surgery at Shifa Hospital in Gaza increased to six months in 2012. The insufficient and irregular power supply is a direct cause of this as outages have tripled since the start of 2012 according to the World Health Organization.