A United Nations official said on Thursday that Turkey has agreed to fund fuel purchases that will be used to provide power for emergency services in the Gaza Strip, including hospitals and idle sewage treatment plants.
Robert Turner, the Director of Operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), explained that Turkey has pledged $850,000, which should be able sustain the operation of emergency services for the next four months.
Gaza is currently experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the Israeli siege. Last summer the Rafah Crossing was partially closed and the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt were destroyed. Gaza's power plant was forced to shut down earlier this month and fuel shortages have disabled essential services.
Turner told Reuters news agency that: "Turkey has transferred the donated amount to the Palestinian Authority, which in turn transferred $200,000 of it to UNRWA in Gaza. We are facilitating the process by purchasing the fuel and identifying the locations for distribution; the monitoring is being done by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation."
Turner added that although the purchased fuel would not be enough to resolve the current humanitarian crisis facing Gaza, it would help to "alleviate" it.