UK sends £5m in emergency aid to Gaza

22 Jul 14
The UK will be sending over £5m in emergency humanitarian aid to international agencies working with Palestinian civilians affected by the violence in Gaza.

The Department for International Development said £2m would support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) refugee mission in Gaza, which is helping over 84,000 people who are seeking shelter in their schools. The funds will enable UNRWA to provide mattresses, blankets, nappies, hygiene items and cooking equipment to 7,800 families.

The remaining £3m is money being brought forward to help the International Committee of the Red Cross provide emergency healthcare and to rehabilitate crucial water wells and pipelines.

Of this allocation, £200,000 will be used to repair UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters by people who have fled the fighting, said DFID.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: ‘The escalation in violence has had a devastating impact on civilians. More than 500 Palestinians are now reported to have been killed with at least 83 children among the dead and more than 100,000 people have had to flee their homes.

‘This new support from the UK will provide lifesaving food, shelter and clean water to those in desperate need as a result of the fighting.

‘We must see an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire to prevent further civilian loss of life, followed by return to peaceful negotiations.’

According to DFID, there has been major damage to vital infrastructure in Gaza leaving 1.2 million people without access to adequate water and sanitation facilities. Eighty per cent of the population have less than four hours of electricity a day.

The UK government said security of both Israelis and Palestinians remains paramount, but restrictions that damage the economy and prospects for ordinary people in Gaza must be eased.


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