The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has reduced its provision of aid in the Gaza Strip, saying that 9,400 families will no longer receive food aid. The agency recently decided to re-examine exactly which families should benefit from the aid programme while attempting to cope with the current budget deficit.
UNRWA has also reduced the number of meals it is providing to students, as well as stopped its unemployment subsidiary programme.
In response, Palestinian refugees have organized sit-ins outside the UNRWA distribution centres, demanding that: "the agency should not stop the aid as long as the refugee issue remains unsolved and Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories, thus preventing the refugees from returning to their homes."
The Palestinian protestors added that: "the refugees are in desperate need for the agency's help at such a critical time when the border crossings are completely closed and when a tight blockade is imposed on the Gaza Strip."
The protestors described UNRWA's new policy as "unhelpful to Palestinian refugees".
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad