6 August 2014 – An announcement yesterday of a 72 hour ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza have raised cautious hopes for an end to the present conflict.
Since the start of the conflict on 7 July, at least 1,814 Palestinians have been killed, about 85 per cent of them civilians. This figure includes more than 400 children and 200 women. At least 66 Israelis have been killed, including two civilians and 64 soldiers, as well as one foreign national in Gaza.
But even if and when the guns fall silent, the reconstruction of Gaza will require huge efforts.
270,000 have sought shelter in UNRWA´s schools, and a core group of the displaced people, who have nowhere else to go, will stay in the schools.
Just under 10,000 Palestinians have been injured, and after almost 4 weeks of intense conflict, Gaza's medical services and facilities are on the verge of collapse. One third of hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics, and 29 Palestinian Red Crescent and Ministry of Health ambulances have been damaged in the fighting. “We are now looking at a health and humanitarian disaster”, warned James W. Rawley, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, adding: “The fighting must stop immediately.”
Based on the last developments, UNRWA now requires a total of US$ 188 million in order to provide emergency assistance for a revised scenario of up to 250,000 people being displaced during a period of up to eight weeks. A portion of this funding will also be needed to start early recovery activities, including shelter and installation repair upon cessation of hostilities.
UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, is almost totally funded by voluntary contributions. Established in 1949, it now provides 5 million Palestine refugees with education, health, relief and social services, microfinance, and camp improvements.
UNRWA also appeals to individuals to donate. Here are examples of what can be done for relatively small donations:
• $30: Give counselling to a traumatised child
• $40: Will feed a person two meals for a week
• $149 Provides a family with mattresses, blankets and a sleeping mat
• $1080 feeds a family in Gaza for a month
You can donate here!
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