UNITED NATIONS, Jan
30 (APP): Stressing the uninterrupted opening of border crossings into the Gaza
Strip, a UN official has said that meeting the immediate needs of Palestinians
left traumatized and homeless by Israe’s three-week military offensive required
the free flow of not just emergency food, but fuel, medicines and necessary
“From a logistic
point of view... we are doing our best,” World Food Programme Regional Director
for the Middle East Daly Belgasmi told a news briefing in New York on Thursday,
stressing the need for a full opening of the crossing points, which Israel again
briefly closed on Tuesday following a border bomb attack.
“The crossing points
are still an issue because it’s open today,it’s closed
tomorrow, it’s open in the morning, it’s closed in the afternoon, and that has been a real
challenge,” he said. “The food supply chain has collapsed.
Many basic food
items are no longer available in the market, [there are] increases in the
price of food commodities such as cooking gas and fuel, bakeries have only recently
WFP’s portion of the
appeal is $82.3 million which Belgasmi described as “really the
minimum to be able to provide some assistance to the people in need.” He said his
agency had enough stocks in Gaza for the next three weeks, and was providing school
meals of milk, date bars and bread to 50,000 children to encourage attendance
and improve their nutrition.
“The challenge is to
get jobs. When you have today unemployment of 70 per cent, people should work on
construction,” We need to get them items for construction, we need to get the
hospitals working, we need to get the schools coming back to a normal
educational life,” he added.
The UN Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that as many as half
of the 5,000 men, women and children injured over the past three weeks may
suffer life-long impairment because rehabilitation workers were unable to