(CTN News) – The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, expressed serious concerns for the people of war-torn Gaza on Monday.
There have been reports of intense fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in various areas of the Strip, including Gaza City, Jabalia, and Khan Yunis.
Additionally, Israeli bombardment of the enclave has persisted. Griffiths, speaking at the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview in Doha, emphasized that the situation is deteriorating. He stressed the importance of securing moments of peace amidst the ongoing conflict.
The UN Relief Coordination Office (OCHA) provided an update stating that tens of thousands of people who recently sought refuge in Rafah in the south are in desperate need of food, water, shelter, healthcare, and protection. These individuals have been waiting for hours around aid distribution centers.
OCHA’s update also highlighted the lack of proper sanitation, leading to widespread open-air defecation and increasing concerns about the spread of diseases.
According to the health authorities in Gaza, the number of casualties has reached 18,000 since the start of the conflict. It is reported that 70 percent of these casualties are women and children, while more than 49,000 people have been injured.
Griffiths expressed his gratitude to Qatar for their innovative approach to diplomacy in their efforts to bring moments of peace to the besieged enclave.
He emphasized the importance of these efforts, particularly in light of the escalating military operations in the southern part of Gaza and the threats posed to neighboring countries.
OCHA reiterated that the UN’s ability to receive incoming aid has been significantly hindered in recent days. This is due to a shortage of trucks within Gaza, telecommunication blackouts, and aid workers being unable to reach the Rafah crossing, which is the main entry point for relief items from Egypt.
Over the weekend, an average of 150,000 liters of fuel per day entered Gaza from Egypt, surpassing the previous daily average of 67,000 liters.
However, this amount is still considered the bare minimum needed to prevent the collapse of critical services such as hospitals, ambulances, water and sanitation, and shelters for the displaced.
Additionally, OCHA reported that on Sunday, 45 tonnes of cooking gas were delivered from Egypt. This marked the first such delivery since the resumption of hostilities after the seven-day ceasefire ended on December 1st.