As the death toll rises in the Gaza Strip, donors from across the Arab region have stood up in support of civilians caught up in the humanitarian crisis, pledging millions of dollars to aid agencies. The governments of UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan have all announced funding for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, while Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, has said US$50 million will be channelled through his Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) to people in need.
Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC), meanwhile, is supporting a number of aid agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to collate and transport essential medical and food items to Egypt and Lebanon.
The first plane, carrying 11 tonnes of mixed supplies, was taken to El Arish in the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt, where it joined a growing stockpile of aid waiting to be taken through the currently-closed Rafah border crossing into the under-siege Gaza.
“We need to be allowed to bring this food into Gaza for immediate distribution. And not just once. We need sustained access,” said Corinne Fleischer, WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. “The situation over there is catastrophic and our stocks inside Gaza are running out. Every day that passes pushes more and more people closer to starvation.”