UN warns of humanitarian deterioration in Gaza

09:37, February 10, 2011      

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The UN relief arm for Palestinian refugees on Wednesday warned that humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli restrictions.

Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), told a news conference that unemployment rates in Gaza increased, reaching about 45.5 percent.

"These figures tell a story of further economic decline and can only increase the sense of instability and despair in Gaza," Gunness said, adding that the continuation of this situation puts Gaza on the brink of collapse.

Israel imposed a tight closure on Gaza when Islamic Hamas movement took over the coastal enclave in 2007. But last year, Israel relaxed the blockade, allowing more civilian goods to flow.

People across the world are looking at what is happening to the economy of Gaza with increasing concern. Economic discontent concerns all of us at this time, and the best way to deal with these concerns is to lift the blockade.

Meanwhile, Gunness revealed that Israel approved the start of 43 UNRWA projects with a value of 75 million dollars. However, these projects make only 11.4 percent of a package of projects the international agency planned to implement in Gaza during the coming three years.

"We in UNRWA need to build 100 schools over the next three years, and need to build or rebuild 10,000 housing units and six health centers," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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