UN chief welcomes US peace initiative on Gaza

Глава ООН приветствовал мирную инициативу США по Газе

1.7 million people – 75 percent of Gaza’s population – have been forced to flee their homes. UN chief welcomes US peace initiative on Gaza Humanitarian aid

The nightmare in Gaza must end. It is time for a ceasefire and the unconditional release of hostages. These were the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at an international conference in Jordan to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

He recalled that at least 1.7 million people – 75 percent of Gaza’s population – have been forced to flee their homes, many more than once. The sector’s hospitals are in ruins. More than a million Palestinians lack drinking water and food. More than 50,000 children need treatment for acute malnutrition. 

At the same time, the provision of humanitarian assistance is difficult, the UN head emphasized, and humanitarian workers work in difficult and dangerous conditions. The Palestine Refugee Agency in the Near East (UNRWA) is the base for relief efforts in the sector and has suffered serious losses.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the 193 dead personnel UNRWA,” said the Secretary General.  

“The role of UNRWA will remain crucial not only during the conflict, but also after it,” he said. 

He noted that more than a million deeply traumatized children in Gaza are in need of the psychosocial support previously provided to them in UNRWA schools. 

“About 60 percent of all residential buildings and at least 80 percent of commercial properties were damaged as a result of Israeli bombings. Medical and educational facilities lie in ruins. Only UNRWA has the capacity, skills and connections necessary to support the Palestinian people in addressing this enormous challenge,” said the Secretary General. 

Guterres expressed gratitude to Jordan for the assistance provided to Gaza, including the delivery of humanitarian aid and the organization of field hospitals. He recalled that Jordan also mobilized the international community and came up with the idea of ​​creating a coordination mechanism for the smooth flow of aid to the people of Gaza. 

“I call on the international community to support Jordan’s efforts , as it plays a critical role in helping the people of Gaza and serving as a key regional humanitarian center,” Guterres said.  

He also thanked Egypt for supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population of the enclave and for trying to end the conflict. 

The UN chief welcomed the peace initiative recently outlined by US President Joe Biden and called on all parties to “take advantage of this opportunity.” The day before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution proposed by the United States and based on Biden’s initiative. The resolution, in particular, speaks of the need for a ceasefire, the release of hostages, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza and the effective distribution of humanitarian aid throughout the strip.

“And I call on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. This includes facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid both to and within the Gaza Strip,” the UN chief added.

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