Belgium has decided to allocate more than âŹ10 million in extra humanitarian aid to address the needs of the Palestinian people, a statement by the Belgium Ministry for Development Cooperation said on Monday.
âTo respond to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has decided to allocate an extra âŹ10.28 million in humanitarian aid to different United Nations organizations and Belgian and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs),â said the statement.
In 2016, Belgium provided in total more than âŹ20 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in need, according to WAFA correspondence.
âTwo years after the conflict of 2014 in Gaza, the humanitarian challenges remain unchanged and the needs still equally important. It is essential to support the vulnerable households that are confronted with the prolonged nature of the humanitarian crisis and the recurrent cycle of shocks under which 2.3 million Palestinians in need in the occupied Palestinian territory sufferâ, said Alexander De Croo.
In the Gaza Strip, almost 100,000 families (600,000 persons) currently live in damaged houses, rented houses, host families, caravans, tents and temporary shelters.
Access to education remains problematic. Almost 600,000 children in the occupied Palestinian territory need assistance to get quality education in a safe and child-friendly environment.
The statement said that a total amount of âŹ4.3 million has been allocated to Oxfam, Caritas, Handicap International and other humanitarian NGOs for projects with a duration of 12 months:
Oxfam received almost âŹ1.2 million aimed at relaunching the fishing industry and promoting the free circulation of goods and persons by providing legal aid by putting in place advocacy activities and by strengthening the local capacities.
Caritas got âŹ1 million aimed at enabling access to basic health care by strengthening the capacities of health centers of Caritas in Gaza through technical education and the supply of modern medical equipment.
The funding of âŹ747,000 for Handicap International aimed at providing services in risk preparedness and psycho-social support to the most vulnerable people in the Gaza Strip.
A total of âŹ1.3 million were allocated to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) aimed at protecting the Palestinians who are threatened by forced displacement in the occupied West Bank.
The Ministry for Development Cooperation said a total amount of âŹ6 million has been allocated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, âŹ4 million, OCHA, âŹ1 million and âŹ1 million for World Food Program.
Furthermore, Belgium has in 2015 also decided on a series of multi-year funding, of which a part has been paid in 2016 including âŹ2.5 million for the Emergency Response Fund (ERF), Â âŹ6.25 million for the general resources of UNRWA and âŹ1.44 million for Oxfam.
Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (firstname.lastname@example.org)