News / Middle East

UN: Gaza in State of Physical, Psychological Collapse

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency says Gaza is in a state of physical and psychological collapse.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza has been going on for 30 months.  The U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which cares for one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, says the territory is receiving only 20 percent of the goods it got before the blockade was imposed.  

UNRWA says the ongoing blockade of Gaza's borders has caused the private sector to collapse and unemployment and poverty to rise to unprecedented levels.  

The agency is renewing its appeal for $323 million to assist Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Bank throughout 2010.  UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza, John Ging, says $250 million of the appeal will be used to sustain basic subsistence levels in Gaza.

"Access to those billions that have been pledged, $4.5 billion were pledged in Sharm El-Sheik, will replace the need for much of the aid, the humanitarian assistance we now are appealing for because the recovery and reconstruction will generate tens of thousands of jobs," said Ging.  "It will put the private sector back to work.  Remember 100,000 have been made unemployed in this past two and a half years.  And, the money will be, as I say, put to productive use," he said.

The United Nations reports the houses of 325,000 people were destroyed or damaged during the war that erupted between Israel and Hamas militants more than a year ago.  An estimated 20,000 people continue to live in temporary housing.

Ging says Israel refuses to let cement, steel rods and other reconstruction material enter the Gaza Strip because it fears they would be used by Hamas to build bunkers.

He says the United Nations has presented a plan to the Israeli authorities to oversee the recovery and reconstruction of Gaza.  He says U.N. agencies have the technical expertise and the capacity to get the work done and to make sure that none of the materials fall into the wrong hands.  

"There is no point in just continuously saying hypothetically this might happen or that might happen or it might fall into the wrong hands or whatever.  The bottom line is we have put forward our plans.  We are ready to go," he declared.  "Let us go on with it and the cement that comes to the United Nations to build a school, there will be a physical school at the end of this process or there will not.  If there is a physical school, then we have done out job properly.  If there is not, then we should be held accountable for that.  That is what we now need to do," he said.  

Ging says attitudes among the Palestinians will continue to harden and become more hostile if reconstruction cannot get underway.  He warns this will be counterproductive to Israel's objective of achieving stability and security.  

He appeals to the Israeli authorities to open the crossing points and allow essential supplies of food, water and medicines as well as shelter materials to flow freely into Gaza.  He says this will greatly improve conditions for the Palestinians and ease tensions between them and the Israelis.
 

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid