Geneva The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA) has launched an appeal for $1.2 billion to fund vital services and life-saving aid for 5.4 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank and across the Middle East.
Speaking in Geneva on Tuesday, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre KrA�henbuhl explained that people's basic needs had worsened considerably since the turn of the century.
We provide food assistance to a million people in Gaza, which is half of the Gaza population. UNRWA provides that food assistance every three months, KrA�henbuhl explained.
That is a figure the world should be shocked about, because in the year 2000, we used to provide food assistance to 80,000. So, we've moved from 80,000 people on our food assistance list to one million. Why? Because the whole dynamic of the conflict and the blockade has wiped out entire sectors of the Gaza economy, he added.
The UNRWA chief warned that alarming and expanding problems affecting Palestine refugees in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, risk further destabilizing the Middle East. He praised the generosity of member states in supporting the agency's work, following the withdrawal of funding by the United States, historically its biggest donor by far for decades.
Source: International Islamic News Agency