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UNRWA calls for safe aid corridors

By Maria Weldali - Nov 03,2023 - Last updated at Nov 03,2023

AMMAN — Safe aid corridors are a priority for UNRWA amid the desperate humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip, said director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Olaf Becker on Wednesday.

In an interview with The Jordan Times, Becker underscored the need to establish safe aid corridors into Gaza, to ensure sustainable and effective delivery of humanitarian aid.

“There is a huge international response to provide aid to Gaza…however without more fuel in Gaza for our [UNRWA] truck supplies it will become increasingly difficult to distribute the aid that is getting through,” he pointed out, highlighting the needed fuel deliveries to Gaza.

Currently, about 10 to 20 aid trucks are getting through the Rafah border crossing every day, while prior to October 7, and during peaceful timesapproximately 100 trucks entered Gaza daily, he said. Noting that “Now, at least 200 to 300 trucks per day are required in Gaza to cover urgent needs”,

“It is a glimmer of hope,” expressed Becker. However, the aid provided is insufficient and inadequate and does not meet the rising needs of Palestinians trapped in the coastal enclave.

Inside the Gaza Strip, there is 5,000 UNRWA staff working every day, to provide humanitarian relief to civilians who are suffering amid the increasingly dire situation.

All UNRWA schools are closed to students. Instead, the schools are sheltering over 600,000 internally displaced civilians who lost their homes.

“The schools are incredibly overloaded…in some cases we have 70 people in one classroom,” he stated. “Men are sleeping outside in the courtyards, playgrounds and other surrounding areas,” he added.

From 22 UNRWA health facilities only nine are operational, he said. The remaining facilities are housing displaced civilians.Moreover, UNRWA has been supplying 50 bakeries in Gaza.

With no effective ceasefire in place, conditions in Gaza have deteriorated tremendously, putting displaced civilians at much greater risk, he concluded.

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