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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Ukraine

21 Jun 2022

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More funds are needed to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Credit: OCHA

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –   21 June 2022

Occupied Palestinian territory

 Today [21 June] marks 15 years of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Largely due to the blockade, poverty, high unemployment rates and other factors, nearly 80 per cent of Gazans now rely on humanitarian assistance. More than half of Gaza’s just over 2 million people live in poverty, and nearly 80 per cent of the youth are unemployed.

This year, humanitarians need US$510 million to provide food, water, sanitation and health services to 1.6 million people. The appeal is just 25 per cent funded.

Meanwhile, the impact of the war in Ukraine, on food and other commodity prices, are particularly pronounced in Gaza.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, needs an extra $72 million by September for its emergency food programme to meet the food needs of 1.1 million Palestinian refugees through the end of the year. The World Food Programme also needs an extra $35 million to compensate for increasing commodity prices. 

The humanitarian community calls for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza. UN Security Council Resolution 1860 of 2009 stresses the need to ensure sustained and regular flow of goods and people through the Gaza crossings.

More needs to be done to alleviate the humanitarian situation, with the eventual goal of a full lifting of the Israeli closures, in line with UNSCR 1860 (2009). Only sustainable political solutions will relieve the pressures on the long-suffering people of Gaza.

Efforts must also continue to encourage all Palestinian political factions towards political consensus and bringing Gaza and the occupied West Bank under one legitimate, democratic Palestinian authority. Gaza remains integral to a future Palestinian State as part of a two-State solution.

Syria

Moving to Syria, yesterday as you’ll have seen the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.He said that needs are at their highest since the start of the war over 11 years ago, and need to be addressed through a combination of life-saving efforts and support to early recovery and resilience.

The Secretary-General pointed to increasing needs in northwest Syria and stressed the need to maintain and expand access through both cross-line and cross-border operations, noting that when it comes to delivering life-saving aid to people across Syria, all channels should be made and kept available.

The Secretary-General appealed to the members of the Council to maintain consensus on allowing cross-border operations, by renewing resolution 2585 for an additional 12 months.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths also briefed the Council. He elaborated on the dire humanitarian situation in Syria and updated on progress made in cross-line operations and early recovery programming since Resolution 2585 was adopted.

Mr. Griffiths also detailed UN efforts to ramp up early recovery to support people in need in a more sustainable manner. He also briefed on humanitarian access. Without UN cross-border access, hunger will increase, medical cases will go untreated, millions will be at risk of losing shelter assistance, and access to water will decrease.

Both the Secretary General’s and the Emergency Relief Coordinator’s statements are online

Ukraine

Yesterday, together with our humanitarian partners, we delivered 12 trucks of critical supplies to help nearly 64,000 people in the cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, close to the frontlines in the Government-controlled areas of Donetska oblast.

Humanitarian needs have increased over recent weeks in these two cities and are particularly concerning in Sloviansk. Sloviansk, which is just 10 km from the frontline, has experienced intense shelling over the past weeks. Previously home to about 100,000 people, about a quarter of the population remains, mainly the elderly who are among the most vulnerable, and who are spending their days hiding from constant bombardment.

People have no piped water and electricity is quite limited. Basic supplies are lacking in the few shops that remain open and prices have shot up.

Yesterday’s humanitarian convoy reached Sloviansk with water purification tablets and vital hygiene supplies to cover the needs of 20,000 people, critical household items for around 2,000 people and enough food to feed around 5,000 people for a month.

We also went to Kramatorsk, where kits to purify water and hygiene supplies will be provided for more than 20,000 people, and food assistance for at least 10,000 women, men, girls and boys.

This humanitarian convoy—facilitated by OCHA through the humanitarian notification system agreed with parties to the conflict—was possible thanks to the support of several UN agencies [the International Organization for Migration, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Food Programme], and Non-Governmental Organizations [the NGOs Norwegian Refugee Council, People in Need and Save the Children].

Across the country, more than 300 humanitarian organizations—two-thirds of them national Non-Governmental Organizations —have provided life-saving assistance to over 8.8 million people since the war started. This is already more than the 8.7 million people we targeted when we revised our Flash Appeal in April.

The international community has stepped up and generously provided nearly 70 per cent of the US$2.25 billion requested for this response.