The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip announced that there will be a reduction in its services in Gaza due to a decline in funding from donor countries. Robert Turner, the new head of UNRWA in Gaza, said that they have decided to cut down on the program for employment by 70%. He also said that the program for distributing food is threatened by the lack of funds.
Turner added that the budget for UNRWA is suffering from a $70 million deficit where the program for food distribution, as part of the emergency program in Gaza, will create a deficit of $5 million in July, followed by an estimated $15 million during the next round of distribution.
Turner pointed out that the donors demanded that UNRWA end the emergency program until 2013 but UNRWA refused due to the deterioration of the situation in Gaza and the continuation of the siege.
Turner called for the end of the siege that has created an overall disaster and added that ending the emergency program and training the refugees demands the end of siege. Freeing the market would also be necessary for the refugees to be capable of depending on themselves. Turner said his main aim is to constantly remind the world of the siege and that the situation in Gaza has to change.
Turner continued to say that there will be no real solution or stability in the area until the siege ends.