U.S. Should Restore Funding For UNRWA To Avoid Humanitarian, Water ‘Catastrophe’ In Gaza

Inter Press Service: Restoring U.S. Aid Crucial to Avoid a Water Catastrophe in Gaza
Matthias Schmale, director of operations in Gaza for UNRWA

“…The recent decision by the United States to reduce funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) jeopardizes its role as a critical source of clean drinking water when Gaza’s supplies slow to a drip. … The U.S. funding reduction also jeopardizes UNRWA’s operations, including our life-saving provision of emergency water to Palestine refugees, our critical sanitation programs, and the international community’s long-term efforts to rebuild Gaza’s water treatment infrastructure. … Without UNRWA acting as an essential back-stop, Gaza’s ongoing water crisis could quickly devolve into a dramatic humanitarian catastrophe, affecting regional stability and undermining efforts to establish a lasting peace. The U.S. should reconsider its reduction of funding. It is in the interests of Gaza’s neighbors and would restore some hope for a life of greater dignity for many of the civilians living in Gaza” (3/21).