Gaza: UN and partners set to meet on critical humanitarian situation

22 April 2008
Food aid being distributed at UNRWA's food centre, Beach Camp, Gaza Strip

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East (UNSCO) today reported that the world body and international agencies operating in the Gaza Strip were expected to hold an emergency gathering to review the increasingly dire humanitarian situation there.

If fuel is not allowed in by tomorrow, Gaza’s power plant will be forced to halt operations and there will be electricity cuts in most areas lasting as long as eight hours per day, UNSCO said ahead of the scheduled meeting.

According to UNSCO, no diesel or petrol has entered Gaza since the 9 April attack by Palestinian militants on the Nahal Oz fuel depot.

In a bid to conserve fuel, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is prioritizing food distribution, solid waste removal and sewage projects.

In spite of these efforts, an estimated 500,000 Gazans in one dozen municipalities already lack solid waste management.

UNRWA noted that its own fuel supplies will run out by this Thursday, and without a fresh supply, it will have to suspend the provision of food aid to 650,000 refugees and garbage collection services for 500,000 Gazans.


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