World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Food crisis threatens Gaza, with crossing Israel

Food crisis again threatening Gaza, with crossing to Israel closed: UN official

With the Karni commercial crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip still closed, a senior official of the main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees warned that the clock is ticking toward a dangerous lack of basic food.

“If Karni remains closed, we are, once again, counting down to a food crisis,” said John Ging, Director of Gaza Operations for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), on which 765,000 refugees depend for flour, oil, sugar and other basic items.

“The clock is now ticking and distribution will have to be shut down entirely for the second time in less than a month if the crossing does not open immediately,” he added.

UNRWA said that the impending shortages add to the mounting woes facing Palestine refugees living in Gaza, citing the killing of 14 Palestinians over the weekend, protests by refugee farmers who have yet to receive any compensation for their actions against bird flu and widespread public demonstrations protesting the cutting of donor funding.

“From a humanitarian perspective the outlook here in Gaza is bleak at the moment,” Mr. Ging said, warning that UNRWA does not yet have the money to meet today’s needs and is facing a bill of almost $900,000 in penalties for port and other charges arising from the Karni closure.

In Geneva, UNRWA’s Matthias Burchard said that the agency had only received firm pledges of $17.7 million out of $95.5 million requested in an emergency appeal for the West Bank and Gaza this year.

Urgently appealing for donors to provide the needed funding, he said that this shortfall is coming at a time when the international community is looking at UNRWA as a source of stability in the region.

The funding issue was addressed by the diplomatic Quartet dealing with the Middle East situation – the UN, United States, Russia and the EU – in a statement issued on 30 January. The Quartet said it was “inevitable that future assistance to any new government would be reviewed by donors against that government’s commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap” outline peace plan.

Working contacts for programmes of assistance such as UNRWA will continue, while political contacts would be dealt with as they arise, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s spokesman clarified today.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news