Gaza refugees' condition getting worse: UN official
A senior UN official has warned that deplorable living conditions of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip are getting worse by days.india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 10:34 IST
"Deplorable" living conditions of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip are "getting worse" by days, and vital public services are in danger of collapsing if a solution is not found soon to the crisis arising from the cut-off of international funds following the formation of the Hamas-led government, a senior UN official has warned.
"We urgently need to get the funding mechanism, promised by the International Quartet (US, Russia, EU and UN) a month ago, operational now," said John Ging, the Director of Operations for Gaza, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
With donors balking at funding the Hamas government unless it commits to non-violence, recognises Israel and accepts previous agreements and obligations, the Quartet on May 9 endorsed a temporary mechanism to funnel assistance directly to the Palestinian people.
Ging said the cut-off is now taking its toll. Without money, local authorities have been unable to pay salaries or any other bill for three months and now their suppliers, themselves in debt, cannot afford to extend credit for much longer.
"In every municipality I have visited this week the situation is the same. Garbage trucks are sitting idle while rubbish piles up, sewage treatment plants are struggling to remain operational, fuel for water pumps is running out and mosquito infestation is out of control in many areas as there is no money to purchase expensive pesticides," he added.