Friday, February 13, 2015

UN Pity For Palestine Continues, This Time In The Form Of $$$


UN Requests $705 Million to Cover Humanitarian Needs in Palestine

JERUSALEM – Several United Nations protection agencies based in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday requested a fund of $705 million to meet the humanitarian needs of 1.6 million Palestinians.

This amount, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Palestinian government, would be required to meet the annual necessities of the population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“2014 was a tragic year for Palestine, with a sharp increase in humanitarian needs,” explained the humanitarian coordinator, James W. Rawley, who noted that today, 100,000 people in Gaza are still unable to return to their devastated homes due to last summer’s Israeli military offensive.

“In the West Bank, thousands more live in chronic insecurity, at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods as a result of demolitions,” denounced Rawley, who expressed his concern about the increase in Israeli demolitions of Palestinian buildings and called for that practice to end immediately.

According to the plan designed by institutions working in the area, $705 million are needed to tackle the 207 selected projects proposed by 77 national and international organizations and UN agencies.

Some 75 percent of the total budget, according to the plan, is destined for Gaza, where the process of reconstruction after the 50-day Israeli offensive in July and August is still paralyzed after donor countries have not yet transferred the agreed contributions, a move that several organizations have criticized.

“If we lack full donor support for this plan, over 22,000 families could remain displaced. Moreover, up to 1.6 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory would be deprived of adequate water and sanitation services, as well as food assistance, while access to basic healthcare and education would be compromised,” said Rawley, according to Relief Web.


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