The Israeli blockade of Gaza has caused damage to its economy and resulted in the territory’s ‘de-development,’ according to the UN.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has announced that Qatar Charity has donated $1.5 million in aid to support food relief in the besieged Gaza Strip.
In this round of aid distribution, around 90,300 food-insecure people in the blockaded Gaza Strip will be able to meet their most basic food needs for three months.
Gaza is a small self-governing Palestinian region that, along with the West Bank and East Jerusalem, came under Israeli rule following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Since 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, putting over two million Palestinians in a dire economic and living situation.
“As the blockade enters its fifteenth year, unemployment levels continue to increase each year with every graduation cycle. This dire unemployment situation compounds an already fragile economy, deteriorated infrastructure, internal political divisions and repeated cycles of conflict,” the UNRWA said in a statement.
“We believe that UNRWA food assistance to Palestine refugees provides them with food security and maintains their dignity,” said the Director of UNRWA, Thomas White, in a statement. He also highlighted that Qatar Charity’s support “indicates high commitment to the humanitarian values and engagement in the international development.”
Qatar donated $360 million last year to Gaza, which was spread over the course of 2021. The Gulf state pledged $480 million in support for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip back in 2019.
Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters are under Israeli control, as are two of the three border crossing points. The third is under Egypt.
UNRWA was founded in 1949 to offer aid and protection to Palestinian refugees in five countries including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, until they are granted the right to return to the homes they were forced to flee as a result of Israel’s occupation.