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UN: Half of Palestinians need humanitarian aid

Palestinians receive humanitarian aid at the United Nations aid distribution centre in Gaza city, on 18 February 2014 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]
Palestinians receive humanitarian aid at the United Nations aid distribution centre in Gaza city, on 18 February 2014 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

Nearly half of the 4.8 million Palestinian people, who live in occupied territories, need humanitarian aid, a United Nation statement revealed on Tuesday.

In a statement he issued to mark 50 years on Israeli occupation, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, Robert Piper, said that one of the results of the occupation policies is the "creation of chronic humanitarian needs" among the Palestinians.

"In 2017, nearly half of the 4.8 million Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) will need humanitarian aid of one kind or another," he said. "Many of them require food assistance to compensate for lost livelihoods, others legal aid and others still, will need water, healthcare or shelter."

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He added: "In a 'normal' year – without a conflict in Gaza – around $1 billion is allocated from scarce global resources to support the various humanitarian operations underway in the oPt."

Piper said that "the worst impacts are felt by those most vulnerable – children, single mothers, the elderly and disabled."

Humanitarians themselves face increasing obstacles in their efforts to mitigate the impacts of occupation, whether it be in increased movement restrictions, the exhaustion of legal processes, the confiscation of our aid or understandable donor fatigue.

The UN official stressed: "As each year passes, the situation deteriorates inexorably, with profound consequences for Palestinians and potentially Israelis as well."

Concluding his statement, he said:

From a humanitarian's perspective, 50 years of occupation represents a gross failure of leadership by many – local and international, Israeli and Palestinian.

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International OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUN
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