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


Gaza: UN humanitarian partners deliver life-saving aid,

As Gaza ceasefire holds, UN humanitarian partners deliver life-saving aid, assess damage

14 August 2014

With the latest ceasefire in Gaza holding, United Nations humanitarian partners are delivering life-saving aid and surveying damaged areas to figure out what is urgently needed on the ground.

At UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, told reporters that safe and secure transportation in the Gaza Strip during the ceasefire will enhance the delivery of relief supplies and allow for the repair of critical water, sanitation networks and electricity infrastructure.

The previous ceasefire, which expired Wednesday, has been extended for another five days until midnight, 18 August while negotiations in Cairo towards a long-term cessation of hostilities continue.

The halt in fighting will also allow for the removal of unexploded ordnance, Mr. Dujarric said. According to the OCHA, thousands of those explosive remnants of war (ERW) remain dispersed throughout. Yesterday, six people were killed and six others injured when unexploded ordnance in Beit Lahia detonated.

The ceasefire is also allowing the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to distribute maternity packages to mothers who have given birth during the current hostilities, and who are registered as displaced people in its shelters across Gaza. A total of 344 babies have been born in UNRWA schools designated as shelters. Those packages contain essential items to help mothers care for their newborns while they stay in temporary shelters.

Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today that with local food production halted and food imports curtailed, virtually the entire population of Gaza (about 1.8 million people) is currently reliant on food aid.

"Up to now, ongoing military operations have prevented detailed assessments of damages to agriculture from being completed," said Ciro Fiorillo, head of FAO's office in the region.

"Under the most recent ceasefire, many farmers and herders are now able to access their lands, however resumption of food production faces serious obstacles given the damages sustained and shortages of water, electricity, inputs and financial resources, as well as ongoing uncertainty regarding the possible resumption of military activities," said Mr. Fiorillo.

Recent fighting has damaged Gaza's 17,000 hectares of croplands as well its agricultural infrastructure, including greenhouses, irrigation systems, animal farms, and fishing boats.

Additionally, the FAO and World Food Programme (WFP) report that Gaza lost half of its poultry birds either due to direct hits on their shelters or lack of water, feed or care. Fishing sector losses so far are estimated at 234.6 tonnes – equivalent to 9.3 percent of local fishers' yearly catch.

Food prices have fluctuated considerably since the hostilities began with a 40 percent increase in the price of eggs and a 42 percent increase for potatoes, for example.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


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>>



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>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news