The head of the key UN agency in Gaza warns ‘whole generations’ could be lost

To solicit political and financial support from Member States, UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini emphasized that the agency is “staggering under the weight of relentless attacks in Gaza,” after nearly nine months of intense Israeli bombing and ground attacks.

He emphasized: “The pressure on the agency today is greater than ever.

In addition to the 193 UNRWA staff killed since the Hamas-led terrorist attacks and hostage-taking sparked the war, Mr. Lazzarini also detailed the scale of destruction at UN facilities.

More than 180 facilities have been damaged or destroyed since October 7, he explained, and “at least 500 people” have died while seeking protection under the United Nations flag.

“Our facilities have been used by Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for military purposes,” the UNRWA head said. Advisory Committee in Geneva. “Our convoys have been attacked despite coordinating movements with Israeli authorities in the West Bank…space for operations is shrinking.”

Highlighting what Gaza is like today “hell on earth” for more than two million people There, the senior humanitarian official noted that children continued to die of malnutrition and dehydration, “while food and clean water waited in trucks” outside the area.

And amid growing reports of the breakdown of law and order, Mr. Lazzarini pointed out Looting and smuggling were rampant is currently happening, delaying the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid.

He emphasized that among the most vulnerable in Gaza, children are the most affected by the ongoing war, with more than 625,000 “deeply traumatized” youth “living in ruins” and without access to education.

About 300,000 of them were enrolled in nearly 290 UNRWA schools before the war, but those who are not currently in school “are at risk of violence and exploitation, child labor, algae,” the UNRWA head emphasized. married and recruited by armed groups.

“Without decisive intervention to further education, we will push an entire generation into poverty and sow the seeds of future hatred, resentment and conflict.”

Chaos in the West Bank

While Gazans continuously displaced by war “are clinging to life,” the head of UNRWA gave an equally bleak assessment of the situation in the occupied West Bank, where some 500 Palestinians have died. deaths since October.

“Daily attacks by Israeli settlers, military raids as well as the destruction of homes and vital infrastructure are part of a system of discrimination and oppression,” said the Commissioner General. The picture is soaked in grease.”

warning Lebanon

Mr. Lazzarini continued, pointing to the millions of “anxious and fearful” Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan who are watching events in Gaza and the West Bank unfold.

“Most of them have lived in camps for generations, often with limited rights and in severe poverty, waiting for a political solution that will end their plight. Today, they are witnessing the greatest Palestinian tragedy since the war Nakba,” he said, referring to the events of 1948 that resulted in some 750,000 Palestinians fleeing their homes.

“As they have done for the past 75 years, they are looking to UNRWA for the protection and fulfillment of their fundamental human rights.”

In his call for support to scale up UNRWA’s assistance to Palestinian refugees, Mr. Lazzarini raised the possibility that the agency would not operate “after August.”

This depends on UNRWA receiving both planned financial donations and new contributions, he explained, adding that $1.2 billion is needed to meet human needs. important direction until the end of this year. To date, the appeal is only 18% funded.

The UN delegation was obstructed

United Nations Aid Coordination Office OCHA warning above that second Access restrictions and security concerns continue to hinder efforts to expand the scale of food and nutrition support Gazaaffecting hundreds of thousands of people in need.

The inability of humanitarian agencies to consistently and safely deliver aid from the Kerem Shalom crossing, combined with the continued closure of the Rafah crossing due to the Israeli attack, has added to the challenge.

Since Sunday, less than half of the 86 combined missions to northern Gaza as planned this month was facilitated by Israeli authorities.

A mission returning to southern Gaza after delivering fuel and medical supplies to northern Gaza City was delayed for more than 13 hours at an Israeli military checkpoint. OCHA said planned humanitarian missions requiring coordination to areas in southern Gaza also continued to face obstacles and were denied access.


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