UN Refugee Agency Says 40 Million Dollars Needed for Palestinians
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for refugees on Wednesday urged donors to give 40 million dollars in emergency aid to the Palestinians affected by the violence and Israeli army closure of their territories.
"The continuing developments on the ground with the loss of innocent lives, ... the serious restriction on movement, internal closures, curfews, insecurity, rising unemployment, dwindling medical services and the disruption in the educational process have served to highlight the fundamental humanitarian role the United Nations can play," UNRWA said in a statement.
The Gaza-based agency which cares for Palestinian refugees said the economic situation within refugee camps and bordering villages was "worsening and further humanitarian assistance is needed".
An initial appeal in October to raise 4.8 million dollars generated 1.9 million in financial aid from donors, enabling UNRWA to keep its health centers open round the clock for the past five weeks, it said.
The UNRWA coordinator director in Amman told a press conference that 39.3 million dollars more were needed as part of a contingency plan over the next three months to help the agency "treat the injured and meet the rising humanitarian needs stemming from the spiral of violence".
Maher Nasser said the money was also needed to provide food and medical assistance to Palestinian refugees living in camps on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank "who are suffering from the siege imposed by Israel".
The urgent assistance will also help "restore homes" of refugees damaged in Israeli shelling of Palestinian communities, create jobs and purchase more ambulances, he said.
According to UNRWA the unemployment rate increased "from 11 percent before the crisis to at least 40 percent under the current circumstance", with 24,000 Palestinians estimated to have lost jobs inside Israel in Gaza and around 100,000 others made redundant in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
UNRWA provides assistance to 27 Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank and cares for some 3.6 million Palestinians in all dispersed in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in addition to the Palestinian territories -- AMMAN (AFP)
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