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UAE will spare no effort to ease suffering of Gazans: Gargash

posted on 13/01/2009: 541 views



Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, affirmed yesterday the UAE's keen desire to improve the humanitarian conditions of people affected by the current events in Gaza.

Outlining efforts made by the UAE and its humanitarian agencies since the eruption of events in Gaza till now, Dr Gargash referred to the nation-wide telethon organised in aid of Palestine which raised over Dh 320 million and pledges made by the UAE leaders to build 1300 houses, schools, mosques and expansion of hospitals which bombed by the Israeli occupation forces.

' The UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office is working side by side with local government departments, donors and charity organisations to coordinate and document government and non-government assistance with relevant international and UN organisations. The focus is to mobilise efforts of UAE donors to achieve the aspired goals from this assistance and push efforts to accelerate implementation of reconstruction plans in Gaza so to ease suffering of the distressed Palestinian people in Gaza,' the UAE minister explained.

He made his remarks at the end of a meeting of donor countries and international relief and humanitarian organisations convened in Abu Dhabi today to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting was in line with the call of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Chairman of the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) and Chairman of the Foreign Aid Coordination Office.

While reviewing the humanitarian situation in Gaza and identifying the key needs and priority funding requirements, the participants stressed the need for pooling and maximising efforts to improve the current humanitarian situation in Gaza.

They termed the situation there as dangerous as the people of Gaza are undergoing exceptional difficult time.

Gargash added the participants agreed on the urgent provision of funds for UN organisation so to be able to secure and deliver essential needs to the people in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a number of humanitarian and relief agencies participating in the meeting commended the UAE for hosting such important gathering for exploring the best and urgent mechanisms to meet basic requirements of the Gazans.

As they drew the attention to the perilous humanitarian circumstances in Gaza, the relief providers appealed to the international community to shoulder its responsibility towards the civilians in Gaza who are facing critical condition.

Representatives of relief agencies reiterated their resolve to carry out their duty properly to alleviate suffering of the people of Gaza despite the challenges on the ground.

Meanwhile, the gathering heard a briefing from Peter Ford, Representative of the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) about their activities and funding requirements in Gaza Speaking to the conferees through a direct link from Gaza, Ford said escalation of events had deteriorated the humanitarian situation in Gaza in a way that has never been witnessed before.

' The UN is making every effort to relieve the suffering and pain of the people of Gaza. The population is already paying the price of a prolonged obstruction of humanitarian assistance, and now we are witnessing large-scale of killing and destruction.

He appealed to the international and Arab community to provide urgently needed assistance to relieve the people in Gaza.

He noted the required relief supplies were increasing day by day as more and more people from Gaza are rushing to UNRWA institutions and they reached 28,000 by Saturday.

'The international community must work together to ensure that the violence is brought to an end and that assistance is provided to the affected population, both for immediate needs,' he said.

He called on the Israelis not to strike the aid workers in Gaza after four of them were killed.

Regional Manager of the World Food Programme Philip Ford said about 360,000 Gazans were in need of food and medicines.

The Islamic Development Bank announced the donation of US$ 25 million in support of international reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

Announcing the donation, IDB Adviser Al Mansour bin Fati said the fund would contribute to meeting the urgent needs of people in Gaza. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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