UN agency makes emergency appeal for Gaza refugees

United Nations, July 22 : The UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees has issued an emergency appeal for $60 million to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, including tens of thousands who have fled their homes in the wake of the current Israeli military offensive.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) noted that the number of displaced people seeking safety in its facilities has exceeded 84,000 and may soon reach 100,000. In response to the growing needs of civilians affected by the latest conflict, aid agencies have mobilised relief supplies from the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A special airlift in support of displaced families in Gaza began Sunday from Dubai, with a 747 cargo plane taking off carrying 115 metric tonnes of aid consisting of 45,000 mattresses, 10,000 blankets and 220 hygiene kits.  ”We are very grateful for the immediate reaction and most generous response we received from Dubai and all the IHC members to our call for help. The Dubai airlift is one of the best examples of how effective humanitarian aid can be when working together,” UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said.

In the coming days, more airlifts are scheduled to arrive in Amman, from where UNRWA will truck the aid into Gaza for distribution.  The UNRWA plans to expand the scope of the donations to include emergency food parcels as stocks of food and other essential goods dwindle.