UNRWA Goodwill Makes Plea for Gaza Population

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AMMAN, July 30, 2014 – (WAFA) – UNRWA Goodwill Ambassador Mohammad Assaf made Wednesday an emotional plea for the people of Gaza upon landing in Jordan, said an UNRWA press release issued online.

Heading from Dubai to Amman as part of an emergency relief flight carrying pre-packaged Halal beef, hygiene kits and other supplies to Gaza population, Assaf, Arab Idol winner and popular singer from Gaza, made an emotional plea for the people of Gaza.

“There is pain in my heart from what is happening in my town and to my people in my  beloved home, Gaza is hurting. No words can describe what I feel and how the Arab world feels and how the world feels,” Assaf said.

“Now we all have to help my beloved people in Gaza, all those who suffer in Gaza, all those who suffer under the attacks. Thanks to all everywhere. We have to help Gaza stand up on its feet one more time, Gaza is strong. Gazans are heroes. They always get back on their feet after they have been destroyed. That is the Gaza I trust. The number of people who have been killed is so immense, civilians, children, women, elderly. It is a very bad situation,” Assaf added.

Assaf was born and grew up in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, where several extended families have been wiped out in recent days.

The people of Gaza continue to suffer under the devastating level of violence experienced in the Strip since the hostilities began on 7 July. Large swaths of neighborhoods east of Gaza City are reduced to rubble. The eastern and northern areas of Gaza are virtually empty of civilians and have turned into combat zones.

At the time of the Eid el-Fitr holiday on July 2014 the number of displaced people taking refuge in UNRWA shelters was more than triple the peak number from the 2008/9 conflict and more than 10% of the entire population of Gaza, with 200,337 internally displaced persons in 85 UNRWA shelters,  despite last week’s attack that killed 15 people in a  school that was designated as a shelter and operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA staff continue their work to support the people in the shelters, providing the displaced with food, water, mattresses and hygiene kits.

UNRWA is also overseeing the delivery of emergency relief supplies that are being transported by air to Jordan and from there by trucks where  the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is transporting and distributing to the thousands of vulnerable displaced families in Gaza.

International Humanitarian City in Dubai is coordinating airlifts of aid to Jordan with several organisations, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Humanitarian Response Depot,   the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC,) as well as the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates.

To date, 18 aircraft have arrived in Jordan with desperately needed relief supplies; five Jumbo Jets and 12 transport aircraft, as well as an Airbus from the Bahrain Royal Charity Organization. The relief flights have delivered 126,500 blankets, 98,000 sleeping mats, more than 120 megatons  of medicine and 15,000 family food packages.

The cargoes unloaded in Jordan are transported by truck through the Allenby Border Crossing on the River Jordan and delivered into Gaza. Several convoys have been able to reach Gaza, but it is not enough to meet the growing need for food, medical supplies and other emergency equipment.

UNRWA appealed for more support from donors to deliver more emergency supplies to Gaza. It stated: “UNRWA urgently needs to replenish its emergency supplies and prepare for vital interventions necessary after a cessation of military activities. The emergency response phase is expected to last for one month, and the early recovery a further three to six months.”

Source: WAFA