By Cecilia Ologunagba
The UN agency that assists Palestine refugees, UNRWA, will run out of fuel in three days, putting humanitarian response in Gaza at risk, Director-General Philippe Lazzarini warned on Sunday.
“Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries. Without fuel, aid will not reach those in desperate need. Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance.
“No fuel will further strangle the children, women and people of Gaza,” he said in a statement.
UNRWA is the largest humanitarian agency in the Gaza Strip, which is home to more than two million people.
More than a million have been displaced since the start of the latest hostilities on October 7, with over half a million now sheltering in its facilities.
Lazzarini warned that “without fuel, we will fail the people of Gaza whose needs are growing by the hour, under our watch,” adding, “this cannot and should not happen.”
He appealed to all parties and those with influence over them to immediately allow fuel supplies into Gaza and to ensure that it is strictly used to prevent humanitarian operations from collapsing.
Although he welcomed the entry of the first humanitarian convoy into Gaza on Saturday, Lazzarini said it was “far from enough”, stressing the need for sustained aid.
UNRWA also published its latest situation report on Sunday, which revealed that 13 more staff members have been killed since the conflict began, bringing the total to 29, while a further 17 have been injured.
In a post on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, UNRWA noted that half of those killed were teachers.
The report also documented that 12 displaced people sheltering at UNRWA schools have been killed, and nearly 180 injured. (NAN)