Gaza,(DRAH.ps)-- The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, released on Thursday a further 2.5 million US dollars from the humanitarian fund for the occupied Palestinian territory in order to cover urgent needs in the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to a press release by Piper, part of this allocation will bolster the UN’s emergency fuel operation, which primarily supplies fuel to generators to maintain operations in around 190 critical health, water and sanitation installations. Virtually all of the two million Palestinians living in Gaza benefit from this fuel operation.
The funding will also provide essential life-saving medical equipment and supplies, as well as solar panels, cash assistance and agricultural supplies intended to reduce food insecurity and food production costs for 2,200 small-scale farmers who irrigate by pumping from small wells.
The Gaza Strip is going into its fourth month of a serious energy crisis. Power supply to households and services has barely covered 25 percent of Gaza’s needs over the last six weeks. Hospitals and other facilities are operating almost 24 hours a week on generators that are not designed for continuous use in this way.
The last bulk shipment of essential drugs from the West Bank was in March 2017; an estimated 40 percent of essential drugs are unavailable already or will be totally depleted within four weeks. There is a large backlog of patients requiring urgent medical referral to hospitals outside the Strip.
The humanitarian fund in the occupied Palestinian territory is a pooled funding mechanism, operated from donations, currently from the governments of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
In early July, humanitarian partners in the occupied territory identified an urgent set of interventions of top priority to respond to the current crisis and appealed for 25 million US dollars. To date, this urgent funding appeal is only 30 percent funded.
“The serious decline in living conditions in Gaza continues” Piper emphasized. “The humanitarian plight and the human rights of Gaza’s civilian population, over half of them children, appear to have disappeared from view” he added.