UN says half of Gazans may face food shortage by June

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-14 01:17:43|Editor: ZX
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MIDEAST-GAZA-FOOD SHORTAGE 

Family members of Palestinian Mousa Zorub have their breakfast next to their destroyed house in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on May 14, 2019. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Monday that more than half of the population in the Gaza Strip may not have enough food by June. (Xinhua)

GAZA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said on Monday that more than half of the population in the Gaza Strip may not have enough food by June.

"At a time when Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan, more than half of the population in Gaza depends on food aid provided by the international community," UNRWA said in an official press statement.

UNRWA expressed its concern that unless it secures at least an additional 60 million U.S. dollars by June, its ability to continue providing food for over 1 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza will be severely challenged.

In 2000, there were fewer than 80,000 Palestinian refugees receiving UNRWA's assistance in Gaza, it added.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support. However, the United States decided to stop funding the UN agency before the Palestinians resume peace talks with Israel.

Earlier in the day, Nickolay Mladenov, UN peace envoy to the Middle East, urged the Israelis and Palestinians to stabilize a cease-fire understanding that was brokered by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar.

Mladenov's call was made at a news briefing held in southern Gaza as he was inspecting a solar energy project financed by the World Health Organization at a hospital in the city of Khan Younis.

"We hope that all parties will abide by the cease-fire, so as ... to be able to precede with the implementation of humanitarian support projects," he told reporters.

"We need the cooperation of all, including the Palestinian Authority, Egyptians and Israelis, to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza so that they have a hope for a better future," the UN official added.

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