(Al Ray archive image)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) disbursed over $1.6 million for reconstruction and severe repair works to 244 refugee families across Gaza, an official statement said on Wednesday.

It said, according to WAFA, that emergency shelter – including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions – is a top priority for UNRWA.

“The Agency remains committed to supporting affected families yet requires new funding to continue the shelter cash assistance program,” it said.

The European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, meanwhile, visited Gaza on Tuesday to get first-hand impression of reconstruction efforts.

A group of more than 20 senior European diplomats met with UNRWA officials, Palestinian ministers and representatives of Palestinian civil society.

A statement by the EU missions said, following the visit, that “the EU is committed to facilitating the social and economic development of the Gaza Strip.”

The group called for “swift steps to produce a fundamental change to the political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, including the end of the closure and a full opening of the crossing points.”

They also said that “unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza, as foreseen by international humanitarian law, for national, local and international humanitarian organizations, including EU bodies and Member States is essential to address Gaza’s pressing humanitarian needs.”

Related: 11/07/16 3-day Strike at UNRWA Facilities