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Monday, January 24, 2022

UN chief thanks Qatar for improving dire situation in Gaza through monetary aid


Qatar has pledged to allocate $40 million to support nearly 100,000 families in Gaza.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his gratitude to Qatar for its contribution towards supporting poor and vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip, Qatar News Agency reported.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the Qatari Gaza Reconstruction Committee and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, Qatar pledged to allocate $40 million to support nearly 100,000 families in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Guterres expressed his appreciation to Qatar for its generous contribution, which will help improve the dire social and economic situation in Gaza.

Guterres added that the UN will continue to work closely with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and partners to support reconstruction efforts in the besieged enclave.

According to a UN source, Qatar and the intergovernmental organisation will soon begin informing families in Gaza of their eligibility for cash assistance.

“Within the coming two days, some of the beneficiaries will start getting notifications about their eligibility for the cash assistance,” the source told The Times of Israel.

Earlier in August, Qatar, the UN and Israel agreed on a new mechanism for transferring Qatari aid into the Gaza Strip.

“Qatar had to reach an agreement with the UN over the entry of monetary aid to Gaza in exchange for a small percentage to the intergovernmental organisation for ‘administrative service,’” Hamas member Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook said at the time.

Under the new agreement, Qatar will transfer $100 per month to 100,000 Gazan families via the UN and Palestinian banks. The UN has said that it hopes to begin the provision of cash aid to the besieged Gaza Strip over the next two to three weeks.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Gaza envoy Mohammad al-Emadi is set to visit the Gaza Strip on Thursday, according to Palestinian media reports.

Israel had previously prevented the transfer of the urgent aid to Gaza.

This was the case since May, when Israel launched a deadly offensive on the already besieged Strip, levelling residential and commercial high-rise buildings, medical facilities, and decimating much of the enclave.

Read also: Hamas vows resistance as Israel cracks down on Gaza protesters

The bombardment only came to a halt after a Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire came into effect. Shortly after, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani pledged $500 million to help with reconstruction efforts.

However, this was hindered by Israel which quickly demanded a change in the logistics of how the money would be transferred over alleged concerns that the aid could reach Hamas, which it considers a “terror” organisation.

Israel said it wanted all aid to go through the United Nations or the Palestinian Authority instead.

More than 2 million Palestinians live in dire conditions due to an Israeli blockade on the Strip, described as the world largest open air prison.

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