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  • 05:45 - 18 March 2020

A message to Matthias Schmale, the director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip

Exclusive: Gaza, (Drah)--

Dear Matthias Schmale,

 (Director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip)

The Popular Committees for Refugees (PCR) in the Gaza Strip express their deep concern over the tragic incident that took place in one of the houses of Al-Bureij refugee camp during the recent bad weather conditions, which resulted in the death of the child Du'a Atif Abu Shamala and the injury of her sister, due to the fall of a water tank on them due to the strong winds that accompanied the strong air storm that Gaza passed through a few days ago.

At the time the Popular Committees offer the deepest condolences to the honorable Abu Shamala family for their great grief, wishing a speedy and complete recovery for their injured daughter, we in the Popular Committees for Refugees affirm the following:

UNRWA bears the responsibility to rebuild the home and compensate the family for its injuries, and not to leave it to individual initiatives that do not excuse UNRWA as an international institution primarily responsible for the relief and employment of refugees.

We call on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to fulfill its responsibilities to ensure the safety of refugees, and not to be left at the mercy of tin-roofed homes that become vulnerable to flying in the air by strong winds, or asbestos boards that cause many diseases.

We call on UNRWA to work on bringing in projects from donor countries to rebuild dilapidated homes in the camps, whose owners have not been able to rebuild them due to the blockade imposed on Gaza, which has made life more difficult for most of the camp residents, and unemployment has increased dramatically among families who are now unable to survive, and depends on UNRWA's food aid.

We also call on UNRWA to form a high-level emergency committee around the clock to help refugees and ensure their safety, not only from the consequences of the bad weather conditions, but also from the diseases and widespread epidemics, and to carry out sterilization and disinfection campaigns in the streets and homes of the camps, as well as awareness and education campaigns to raise awareness about the globally spreading Corona pandemic.

Best wishes,

Popular Committees for Refugees

Gaza strip



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