In a Wednesday press conference in Gaza, chief UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said that $540m are required to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in 2018. Most of the funds would be used to address urgent needs in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA in Gaza

UNRWA in Gaza Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90

The UN has announced that it is seeking $540 million to provide humanitarian relief in Gaza and the West Bank in the upcoming year. 75% of the required sum would go to Gaza, where the UN said the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold.

“Without donor-funded emergency fuel distributed to critical water, sanitation and health facilities, we would face a total systems collapse, with the result, a humanitarian disaster,” chief UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said at a press conference on Wednesday. “In the West Bank, the volume of needs are less, but no less serious or urgent.”

“Overall, the 2018 humanitarian plan appeals for US$ 539.7 million to address urgent humanitarian needs in the areas of protection, food security, health, water and sanitation, shelter and education,” continued McGoldrick. “Of the request, 75 per cent targets Palestinians in Gaza. Half of the overall amount is for UNRWA emergency projects.”

Earlier this year, Washington announced it would cut more than half of its 2018 aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, following a fiery speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during which he vehemently rejected the peace plan of American President Donald Trump. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said at the time that Washington would not “pay to be abused” and clarified that the administration must “start being smart” about the way it spends its money.