Wednesday’s meeting between the two diplomats comes as at least a dozen countries announced suspending funds to the UN’s Palestine refugee agency.
The state of Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Al Thani, met with the UN’s Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, to discuss Gaza’s worsening humanitarian crises.
According to the intergovernmental organisation’s humanitarian office (UN OCHA), since October 7, Gaza has suffered a death toll of at least 26,900 people. A further 65,949 Palestinians have been wounded.
The UN OCHA’s latest impact report, which was published on Wednesday, added that Israel’s air, land and sea offensives against the Strip have crippled its health sector.
Just 14 partially functional hospitals are bearing the strain of the sheer scale of casualties induced by Israel’s indiscriminate onslaught.
The remaining hospitals are battling critical shortages of medicine, blood supplies, access to fresh water and fuel.
At least 2.2 million Palestinians are also at an immediate risk of famine.
Qatari aid to Gaza
During Wednesday’s meeting at the Permanent Mission’s headquarters in New York, Sheikha Alya discussed with her UN’s Gaza Reconstruction chief how to alleviate this immense suffering for Palestinians in the Strip.
The two further discussed how bilateral cooperation between Qatar and the UN can be enhanced to facilitate the swift delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to the enclave.
Since Israel renewed its violent expansionist campaign, Qatar has been at the forefront of mediatory and aid missions to ensure the rights of Palestinians are protected.
On Tuesday, a Qatari armed forces aircraft arrived in Egypt’s El Arish city to transport 42 tonnes worth of aid to Gaza.
The aid included a field hospital – equipped with much-needed medical supplies.
In a Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs communique, this humanitarian mission was described as coming “within the framework of the State of Qatar’s support for the brotherly Palestinian people during the current difficult humanitarian conditions.”
‘Gaza crises is largest humanitarian disaster’ – Sheikha Alya
At the UN Security Council (UNSC), Sheikha Alya has stressed the severity of the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.
On January 25, before an open debate on Palestine at the UNSC, Qatar’s Ambassador to the UN said that in light of UN reports, the Gaza Strip is the locus of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.
In addition to the harrowing death toll, including victims of Israel’s onslaught trapped under the rubble, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank also have no respite amid a spike in settler violence.
Since October 7, at least 370 Palestinians, including 94 children, have been killed by either the Israeli occupation forces or illegal settlers, a UN OCHA flash update reported.
Sheikha Alya said that this was unacceptable and that Qatar condemns Israel targeting civilians, civilian facilities and all forms of collective punishment.
She further stressed the urgency of the UNSC to pressure the aggressor to uphold international law, put an end to the bloodshed and initiate processes that will lead to lasting peace in the region.