Jerusalem, MINA – The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) needs an immediate US$ 14 million to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak over the next three months, the UN organization said in a press release.
UNRWA Commissioner General Christian Saunders also outlined direct priorities and financial issues for health services and other services related to pandemics in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, thus quoted from Wafa News Agency on Thursday, March 19.
The urgent need is in addition to the needs of the UNRWA Program Budget.
Saunders stated that improper conditions in Palestine are vulnerable to the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak that is currently taking place.
“Overcrowded living conditions, physical and mental stress and prolonged conflict over the years make a vulnerable population of more than 5.6 million Palestinian refugees very vulnerable to the ongoing COVID-19 threat,” he said.
According to him, all refugee host countries and five bodies have announced a series of steps to address the spread of COVID-19, which will be followed by UNRWA as operational implementers.
All UNRWA schools and other educational institutions have been temporarily closed; however, all of 144 UNRWA health clinics remain fully operational and continue to provide primary health services to counter the ongoing pandemic outbreak.
“We call for a massive global effort to curb the spread and reduce the impact of COVID-19,” Saunders said.
“I humbly ask donors, whether governments, agencies or individuals to help UNRWA deal with what could be disasters of unreasonable proportions, in places like Gaza and Syria.” he added
COVID-19 can threaten anyone. And for densely populated areas like Gaza, which have been weakened by years of blockade, this could be a disaster. Gaza has absolutely no resources and means to deal with it.
“All contributions are gratefully received. Every cent will make a difference, “Saunders said. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)