Stalled Mortality Decline in the Gaza Strip: Evidence from Recent Surveys

Marwan Khawaja, American University of Beirut

Recent data from several national-level surveys conducted in 1995, 2000, 2004, and 2006 indicate that Palestinian infant mortality rate in Gaza stalled during the recent Intifada at a rate well above 20 per 1000 birth. This paper seeks to examine the causes of these trends in more detail, using available micro data and both descriptive analysis and statistical modeling. The relative impact of household poverty and closures on mortality change will be examined. The deteriorating situation caused a decrease in food security; thus, a decrease in nutrition for pregnant women and children is probably behind the stalling of mortality decline. The analysis will adjust for relevant demographic and socioeconomic factors. The continuing conflict and worsening economic situation may provide clues to address the stagnation of mortality decline in Gaza. Policy implications of the findings will be discussed.

Presented in Session 19: Social Contexts and Child Health