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UN to launch $705 mn aid plan for Palestine

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UN to launch $705 mn aid plan for Palestine
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Ramallah: The UN will launch a strategic plan for humanitarian assistance worth $705 million in Palestine this year, a senior UN official said Thursday.

James Rawley, chief of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Palestinian territory, said that 80 percent of the plan would be devoted to the Gaza Strip, according to a Xinhua report.

Rawley's statements came during a joint news conference here with Mohamed Mustafa, the Palestinian minister of national economy and also, deputy premier of the unity government.

"Reconstruction in the Gaza Strip is unfortunately going opposite to what had been planned before, because of the lack of donations that were pledged by the donors to aid the Palestinians," Rawley said.

The UN official warned that without enough funding for the plan, "around 1.6 million Palestinians will be deprived from humanitarian aid, such as food, water, electricity and sewage”, and if the plan was not implemented, "this would negatively influence their lives and their ability of gaining education and medical service..."

Rawley called for an immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade, which has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for almost eight years. He also called for reopening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, as well as free movement of goods between Gaza and the West Bank.

Mustafa told reporters that the Palestinian government welcomed the UN plan, but also warned that the situation in the Gaza Strip would get worse if the enclave did not receive enough humanitarian aid and if people's daily living conditions did not improve.

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