Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

ECHO/Fadwa Baroud More than half the population of Gaza depends on food aid from the international community. (file 2010)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


At a time when Muslims globally are observing the holy month of Ramadan, more than half the population in Gaza depends on the international community for food aid, the director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Monday, citing a “near ten-fold increase” in need.

According to UNRWA, it must secure an additional $60 million by June to continue providing food to more than one million Palestine refugees in Gaza, including some 620,000 “abject poor” who cannot cover their basic food needs and are surviving on $1.6 per day. The funds are also needed to cover the severely challenged 390,000 “absolute poor”, who survive on about $3.5 per day.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support, which has been outpaced by growing needs.

From fewer than 80,000 Palestine refugees in Gaza receiving social assistance in 2000, today over one million people need urgent food aid to get through their day.

“This is a near ten-fold increase caused by the blockade that led to the closure of Gaza and its disastrous impact on the local economy, the successive conflicts that razed entire neighborhoods and public infrastructure to the ground, and the ongoing internal Palestinian political crisis that started in 2007 with the arrival of Hamas to power in Gaza,” said Matthias Schmale, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza.

UNRWA is also confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growing number of registered Palestine refugees.

Moreover, the tragic death of 195 Palestinians – including 14 UNRWA students and the long-lasting physical and psychological injuries of 29,000 people during year-long demonstrations, known as the ‘Great March of Return’ – come after three devastating conflicts since 2009 that, combined, left at least 3,790 dead and more than 17,000 injured.

A 2017 UN report predicted that by 2020, Gaza would be unlivable.

Today, with over 53 per cent of Gazans unemployed and more than one million dependent upon quarterly UNRWA food handouts, UN agencies and remittances from abroad are all that stand between Gaza and total collapse.

“For the first time in my year-and-a-half there,” Mr. Schmale elaborated, “I had three people talking to me separately about noticeably increasing drug abuse, increasing suicide attempts and prostitution and they put this down to the place is collapsing socially, in socio-economic terms and one can see it and of course against a background like that escalation is possible at any time”.

By continuing to deliver upon its mandate, UNRWA remains a critical lifeline for most of Gaza’s 1.9 million inhabitants, dispensing services in health and education and defending rights and dignity. Most urgent though, is the food assistance to more than one million Palestine refugees.

Operating with large financial shortfalls, as one of the few stabilizing elements in a very complex environment UNRWA is encouraging all Member States to work collectively to fund its programme budget as well as its emergency programmes, which are financed through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is tasked to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank – including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – to achieve their full human development potential.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Personalized healthcare and better population health? Here’s how digital can help achieve that

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Miraculous’ music made by hearing-impaired children

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

Why the world is not as globalized as you think

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

In The Bahamas, Guterres sees impact of ‘Category Hell’ hurricane, ‘powered by climate change’

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Eurostat: Real unemployment double than the official rate

Coronavirus: Commission receives first preliminary application for support from the EU Solidarity Fund for health emergency from Italy

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

Tackling water scarcity: 4 ways to pull H20 out of thin air

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Trust in OECD governments back at pre-crisis levels as governments seek to be more open and engaged

Mental health in the context of a pandemic: social distance

How China raised the stakes for electric vehicles

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

North Korea missile tests ‘deeply troubling’: senior UN official

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

Rural Bangladesh has already embraced renewable energy. Here’s what the rest of the world can learn

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

Globalization 4.0 means harnessing the power of the group

Putting a price on carbon will help New York state achieve a clean energy future

East Africa locusts threaten food insecurity across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency

UN chief laments ending of Cold War-era disarmament treaty

Coronavirus: Pandemic alert should be trigger for countries to do more against COVID-19

Deadly life at sea: UN partners spotlight depths of danger in fishing industry

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

Greta Thunberg tells world leaders ‘you are failing us’, as nations announce fresh climate action

3 charts that show how global carbon emissions hit a record high in 2018

What does the world really think about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

This is how social media giants are helping stop the spread of measles

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

Fight against climate change and poverty will fail without overhaul of global financial system, says major UN report

Russia is ready for its Phase 3 evaluation once it fulfills high-priority recommendation

World Youth Skills Day: What you need to know for 2020

A Sting Exclusive: “There can be no global deal on emissions without China and the USA”, Conservative MEP Ian Duncan stresses from Brussels

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Ebola emergency chief decries new attacks on frontline staff, after DR Congo worker death

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

Emergency coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

There isn’t a single country on track to make the UN’s targets for gender equality

Future EU financing and recovery: MEPs to assess summit outcome

DR Congo: Electoral process advancing despite threat of armed groups, UN envoy tells Security Council

Amid ‘volatile’ environment, UN mission chief urges Iraqi leaders to ‘listen to the voice of the people’

Eurozone cannot endure any longer youth marginalisation

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

Amid COVID-19 constraints, UN women’s commission meets to push gender equality forward

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

What business leaders can learn from jazz

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s