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Qatar distributes aid to 55,000 families in Gaza

GAZA CITY, GAZA - FEBRUARY 01: Palestinians celebrate the Qatar's first Asian Cup championship after Qatar beat Japan 3-1 in 2019 Asian Cup final, in Gaza City on February 01, 2019. Qatar claimed their first Asian Cup on Friday with a 3-1 win over four-time champion Japan in the 2019 final. ( Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency )

The Qatari government has disbursed financial aids to 55,000 poor families in the occupied Gaza Strip, local media reported yesterday.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered yesterday in front of branches of the strip’s Post Office to receive financial assistance of a $100 payment for each family.

This is the fourth time for Qatar to send financial funds to poor families in Gaza as part of a recently-announced Qatari government grant to support Gaza residents.

“The fourth instalment was disbursed on Monday morning through the Post Office branches under the supervision of the Qatar National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza’s staff,” an official at the committee told Anadolu Agency, noting that “55,000 families will benefit from the fund.”

In October, Qatar announced a $150 million humanitarian aid to Gaza, which the Gulf state said it aimed at “alleviating the humanitarian crisis across the enclave.” Qatar also pumps fuel to Gaza’s main power plant.

Read: Qatar opens up 6,400 jobs in Gaza

In late January, the Qatari committee on Gaza signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations (UN), agreeing to pay $20 million over a year, with the aim to establish “temporary employment projects” in the occupied strip.

Qatar was also reported to have disbursed $50 million to United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which was on the verge of winding down many of its programs after the United States decided to stop funding the organization.

Qatar stepped in after many in the international community did not fulfil their pledges to rebuild the Gaza Strip after it was hit by Israel in three major offensives; 2008, 2012 and 2014 wars. These wars turned the coastal enclave – which has been under strict Israeli siege for 12 years – into a pile of rubble.

At the same time, the Palestinian Authority (PA) – led by Mahmoud Abbas – has imposed punitive measures on the Strip as part of the ongoing feud between his Fatah party and Hamas. This has had an impact on paralysing Gaza’s economy and diminishing its ability to offer the needed medical and welfare services to its inhabitants.

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