Palestinians look at the damage to a destroyed house in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip (Photo: AP)
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development has provided funds to support the emergency food assistance programme administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which provides food parcels to more than one million Palestine refugees on a quarterly basis.
The contribution comes as thousands of Palestine refugees struggle to rebuild their lives following 11 days of intense airstrikes and violence that left 256 Palestinians (including 66 children) dead and more than 1,400 families temporarily displaced.
The crisis occurred at a time when refugees in the 365 km² enclave were already struggling with economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with fourteen years of blockade.
“Mercy-USA is grateful to UNRWA, our long-time and trusted partner, for implementing this donation of emergency food aid to vulnerable families in Gaza. It’s our hope this gift from our donors brings comfort to families who were already living in an untenable situation even before this latest crisis,” said Umar Alqadi, Mercy-USA’s CEO.
On 15 May UNRWA launched a US$ 38 million Flash Appeal to support refugees impacted by an Israeli escalation that started in April in both the West Bank and Gaza. An updated Recovery Appeal, launched in late June, seeks an additional US$ 164 million in funding for humanitarian assistance, emergency shelter repairs and mental health interventions to those affected in the besieged Strip.
“The impact of this conflict on Palestine refugees and the trauma it leaves them with are staggering,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. “The ability of UNRWA to contribute to a sense of normality in the lives of Palestine refugees, such as through the continuation of food assistance, is possible thanks to this kind of partnerships.”