UN: Gaza needs support to prevent renewed conflict

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, said in a statement yesterday that the besieged Gaza Strip is on the verge of total economic and social collapse.

Mladenov stressed that half of Gaza’s population is unemployed and that basic services are severely overstretched.

The UN envoy welcomed a recommendation by the World Bank’s Board to allocate $90 million, an increase of $55 million from last year, in response to the economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, specifically in the Gaza Strip.

“This significant increase in funding comes at a critical time when urgent interventions are required to prevent renewed conflict and to boost Palestinian economic opportunities and livelihoods,” Mladenov stated.

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He added that this allocation will be used in partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) “to support key interventions, including job creation through emergency cash-for-work and labour-intensive infrastructure rehabilitation.”

UNRWA needs $217 million to maintain its work this year, he explained, describing the situation as a “serious concern”.

Earlier this week UNRWA suspended the work contracts of nearly 1,000 employees, transferring many to temporary employment which comes to an end at the end of the year.

World Bank pledges $90m for West Bank, Gaza Strip