UN Agencies Call for Ceasefire, Urge the World to ‘Do More for Gaza’

A humanitarian convoy headed to Gaza. (Photo: via UN Twitter Page)

Five UN agencies issued a statement on Saturday, urging the world “to do more for Gaza”, as Israeli airstrikes continue.

The statement was signed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

A humanitarian convoy entered Gaza on Saturday morning via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt – the first since the Israeli aggression on the territory started two weeks ago.

The 20 trucks carried lifesaving items from the UN and the Egyptian Red Crescent, including tins of tuna and tomato paste, pasta, drinking water and medical supplies. Hundreds more trucks are waiting at the border.

This “first, but limited shipment” will provide “an urgently needed lifeline to some of the hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, who have been cut off from water, food, medicine, fuel and other essentials,” the UN agencies said, “but it is only a small beginning and far from enough.”

“Pre-positioned humanitarian supplies have already been depleted. Vulnerable people are at greatest risk and children are dying at an alarming rate and being denied their right to protection, food, water and health care.”

The UN agencies called for a humanitarian ceasefire, along with immediate, unrestricted humanitarian access throughout Gaza to allow aid workers to reach civilians in need, save lives and prevent further human suffering.

“Flows of humanitarian aid must be at scale and sustained, and allow all Gazans to preserve their dignity,” the agencies said.

They appealed for safe and sustained access to water, food, health – including sexual and reproductive health – as well as fuel, and for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities.

“We call for the protection of humanitarian workers in Gaza who are risking their lives in the service of others,” they added. “And we call for the utmost respect of international humanitarian law by all parties.”

On October 7, Israel launched its latest military aggression on the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians killed and wounded in the Israeli war on Gaza rose to 4,385 killed, including 1,756 children and 976 women, and over 13,500 wounded.

On October 9, Israel imposed a “total siege” on the Gaza Strip, blocking the entry of food, water, medicine, fuel, and electricity.


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