UNRWA prepares 54 emergency shelters in Gaza

Gaza UNRWA Director Thomas White (MEMO)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 23, 2022

UNRWA has prepared 54 shelters to house displaced Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the director of the organization in Gaza said during a conference today.

Speaking from Gaza, White said: “We aspire to increase the number of shelters so that we can meet the requirements of any emergency need in Gaza,” noting that UNRWA seeks to secure “mobile shelters” that can be used in times of emergency.

Adding that it is “preparing to conduct a maneuver soon to check UNRWA’s readiness to respond to emergencies.”

Regarding the reconstruction of the remaining houses destroyed during Israel’s bombardment of the Strip in 2014, White said: “Our file is currently closed because there are no donors who have expressed their willingness to support projects for the reconstruction of these houses.”

The rise in global prices and freight and transportation expenses have all negatively affected the organization, he explained, leaving it in a severe crisis. It is therefore seeking $1.6 billion this year to fund its vital services and programs to support millions of Palestine refugees, he added.

In the first quarter of 2022, food aid was distributed to about 1,140,000 refugees in 15 distribution centres in Gaza, at a cost of $28 million, White explained, noting that 81.5 per cent of the refugees in Gaza live below the poverty line.

“Nearly 50 per cent of children in Gaza need mental health support,” he added, explaining that “in 2022 we will be able to provide psychosocial support services to about 290,000 students in schools.”