Tue, 12 December 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Current aid system for Gaza 'geared to fail,' UN warns

Update : 31 Oct 2023, 11:05

The UN agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) warned Monday the limited number of aid convoys entering Gaza were insufficient to meet the "unprecedented humanitarian needs" in the territory.

"The handful of convoys being allowed through Rafah is nothing compared to the needs of over two million people trapped in Gaza," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini told the UN Security Council, referring to the sole border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Israel has unleashed a massive bombing campaign on Hamas-run Gaza after gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 230 hostages, according to Israeli officials.

The strikes have flattened thousands of buildings and, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, killed over 8,000 people, also mostly civilians.

According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, 33 trucks carrying water, food and medical supplies entered the Gaza through Rafah on Sunday.

Prior to the war, some 500 trucks carrying aid and other goods entered Gaza every day.

"The system in place to allow aid into Gaza is geared to fail unless there is political will to make the flow of supplies meaningful, matching the unprecedented humanitarian needs," Lazzarini said, calling for the Security Council to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

He said that 64 of his UNRWA colleagues had been killed in just over three weeks, "the highest number of UN aid workers killed in a conflict in such a short time."

He added that a UN worker named Samir, as well Samir's wife and eight children, had been killed just hours before the meeting.

"My UNRWA colleagues are the only glimmer of hope for the entire Gaza Strip, a ray of light as humanity sinks into its darkest hour. But they are running out of fuel, water, food and medicine and will soon be unable to operate," said the Swiss-Italian official.

"An entire population is being dehumanized," he warned. 

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