UNRWA: Four out of each five Palestinian refugees live below poverty line
|Wednesday, February 27,2008 05:51|
Karen Abu Zeid, the UNRWA general commissioner, has warned that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are facing a rapidly worsening humanitarian condition that necessitates extending urgent assistance to them and lifting the siege on the Strip.
Abu Zeid in a press statement explained that four out of five refugees in a number of Palestinian areas such as Gaza live below the poverty line. She pointed out that Palestinian economy is in shambles and there are no work opportunities possibly due to the deteriorating security conditions that also affect the Agency"s work.
The commissioner, who was speaking in Brussels after meeting European parliamentarians and European Union officials, urged the EU to extend badly needed assistance to the tune of 246 million dollars to its Agency.
She said that UNRWA needed the money to continue extending educational, health and social services to around 4.4 million refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza.
The Israeli occupation authority is hampering the UNRWA staffers" freedom of movement in the Strip, she pointed out, underlining that the Agency was in need of police escort and fortified vehicles.
The IOA is closing all crossings connecting Gaza to the outside world, creating very harsh living conditions for the Palestinians there in the light of the absence of basic needs such as food, medicine and fuel amongst other things.