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

 


Middle East: UN Chief Welcomes Temporary Ceasefire

Middle East: UN Chief Welcomes Temporary Ceasefire, Urges Longer-Term Agreement


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists at the Security Council stakeout on the situation in Gaza, in July 2014. UN Photo/Mark Garten

10 August 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today's announcement by Egypt that the Israelis and the Palestinians have accepted another 72 hours' unconditional humanitarian ceasefire and urged all concerned to avoid steps that would lead to a resumption of violence.

Mr. Ban expressed “his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides,” according to a statement from his spokesperson.

He added that the United Nations stands ready to assist in the implementation of an agreement that would consolidate peace and allow for much-needed reconstruction and development of Gaza.

Mr. Ban's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, has been in Cairo working in support of Egyptian efforts to halt the fighting.

The latest ceasefire began at 12:01 am local time on Monday. It follows a three-day ceasefire that ended on Friday.

The previous ceasefire allowed UN and humanitarian partners to restock food, water and other supplies, and to survey the damages.

At least 1,948 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, along with 67 Israelis, according to figures cited by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In addition, some 425,000 people are seeking shelter either in UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities, government shelters or with host families.

Some 11,855 housing units in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks, and another 36,000 have suffered damage, according to the latest OCHA “Situation Report”. The UN agency estimates that reconstruction and repair costs of these houses will be $410 million.

UNRWA has said it is in a period of multiple and rapid response, working with other UN agencies and the Palestinian Authority on a reconstruction plan.

“We estimate that 70 per cent of all those affected by the housing crisis are refugees and we are responsible for them,” spokesperson Chris Gunness said in an email on Saturday.

There is a need for a broad range of services: rubble removal, reconstruction, repairs, rental subsidies while homes are rebuilt, health including psycho-social support, food, cash and education, Mr. Gunness said.

He added that there is a question of repairing and rebuilding public infrastructure in refugee camps, in particular water, sewage and electricity.

“This is an urgent priority,” the spokesperson said. “Without it people simply cannot go home.”

Mr. Gunness also spoke out about the ongoing blockade again Gaza, stressing that the area has been “leveled” and that “we cannot rebuild it with our hands tied behind our backs.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news