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UN blames funding cuts and blockade for Gaza crisis

Gazan's gather outside the UN offices in Gaza to protest US cuts to UNRWA's funding, on January 28, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather outside the UN offices in Gaza to protest US cuts to UNRWA's funding, on 28 January 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric blamed on Thursday UNRWA funding cuts, the closure of Gaza’s crossings, and the delay of internal Palestinian reconciliation for the dire situation in the enclave.

Answering to questions about the situation in Gaza, Dujarric said: “The dire humanitarian situation has obviously been made more stressful with the funding crisis” facing UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

He added: “So far, UNRWA has not cut back on any services and is striving not to.”

“We know the humanitarian crisis is also linked to internal issues having to do with the reconciliation between various Palestinian factions and, of course, issues related to closures;” he said.

On his part, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council that: “The United Nations have presented proposals to revitalize Gaza’s economy and discussed the conditions required to ease movement and access, and support Palestinian development.”

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