World Bulletin/News Desk
Chief of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) asked Arab Foreign Ministers Sunday for $47 million dollars to cover four upcoming weeks of emergency work in the Gaza Strip.
"There is a crying need for financial support now, today," UNRWA’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a speech during an Arab League Foreign Ministers' meeting at the pan-Arab body's Cairo headquarters on Sunday.
"My main message to you today is please do not wait for weeks before providing support,” Krahenbuhl said.
Krahenbuhl said that the U.N.'s agency for Palestinian refugees is facing a $50 million deficit this year in keeping up relief operations for afflicted Gazans following a devastating Israeli offensive which spanned 51 days before it concluded with an August 26 cease-fire.
"Our program costs – the money to keep our 710 schools, 138 health centers and 40 food distribution centers running – exceed our ability to pay," he said.
Krahenbuhl added that the UNRWA is planning to open all its schools in Gaza within one week to coincide with the beginning of the postponed school year in Gaza.
He went on to reiterate condemnation and urge accountability of Israel's targeting of seven UNRWA schools during its relentless bombardments in the troubled coastal enclave.
"Nothing justified or could imaginably justify Israel’s shelling of UN premises being used as civilian shelters, all of which has repeatedly been duly notified precisely to ensure that they would be preserved," he said.
The Israeli offensive left more than 2,147 Palestinians dead – mostly civilians – and nearly 11,000 injured.
Over the course of the onslaught, thousands of homes, schools and educational buildings in Gaza were reduced to rubble by relentless Israeli bombardments by air, land and sea.
Some 500,000 Gazans were displaced by the violence, including 300,000 who sought shelter in 85 schools located throughout the coastal enclave.
Around 1.1 million out of the Gaza Strip's population of 1.8 million people are registered as refugees with the UNRWA, according to latest figures by the latter.Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2014, 17:40