Demonstrations were launched yesterday in the Gaza Strip, in front of the UN Headquarters (Gaza City), calling upon UNRWA to end its recently announced cuts to various humanitarian programs in the besieged coastal enclave.
Protestors gathered in Gaza City yesterday, outside the UN Headquarters, demanding that the Policy Cuts, made by the UNRWA, stop.
Amir Al-Meshal, the head of UNRWA’s Workers Union, said at the demonstration that; “This move will adversely affect the services provided by the UNRWA in the Gaza Strip and those provided to more than 1.3 million Palestinian refugees”.
The UNRWA has recently made the decision to terminate hundreds of permanent job contracts with employees inside the Gaza Strip, as well as ending various programs it had set up in order to help Palestinians in Gaza survive.
Since the US withheld funds from UNRWA, only committing 60 million of the original funds, the agency has suffered a 246 million dollar deficit. Washington originally pledged 365 million dollars to UNRWA, yet have failed to deliver in order to, in their justification, punish the Palestinian Authority for not co-operating. The Palestinian Authority are a completely separate entity to UNRWA.
As a result of recent UNRWA cuts, in the West Bank, over 150,000 Palestinian refugees are now no longer receiving much needed food aid.
Over 80% of Gaza’s population (2 million people, 52% children under the age of 18) are dependent upon international aid in order to live.