Displacement in Gaza, Israel: WFP begins distribution of food to 100,000 Gazans

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New York, USA.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has begun distributing food for up to 100,000 internally displaced Gazans seeking refuge in UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) shelters with fresh bread and canned food.

UN spokesperson, Stephanie Dujarric, said this at a news conference on Monday in New York.

“In the next few days, WFP plans on starting to roll out assistance to up to 800,000 people with food and cash assistance as the situation develops, provided the necessary funding is made available.

“WFP needs 16.8 million dollars to reach 805,000 people in the next month,” he said.

According to him, over 120,000 people have been internally displaced in Gaza due to concerns over their protection and the destruction of homes.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, is sheltering roughly 137,000 people in 83 of its schools across the Gaza Strip.

Six health care workers have been killed and four others injured, with seven health care facilities and nine ambulances damaged.

Mass displacement due to protection concerns and damage to civilian property have also been observed in Israel.

In Gaza, humanitarians report that damage to water, sanitation and hygiene facilitates has undermined services to more than 400,000 people.

The Gaza Power Plant – now the only source of electricity – could run out of fuel within days.

Early Sunday, the UN peacekeeping operation in Lebanon, UNFL, “detected several rockets fired from southeast Lebanon toward Israeli-occupied territory in the general area of Kafr Chouba and artillery fire from Israel to Lebanon in response,” according to the mission.

The UN Security Council-mandated mission, operating along an area known as the “Blue Line,” was deployed in 1978 to restore peace between Israel and Lebanon.

“We are in contact with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line, at all levels, to contain the situation and avoid a more serious escalation. Our peacekeepers remain in their positions and on task,” UNIFIL said in a statement.

UNIFIL said peacekeepers continued to work, “some from shelters, for their safety.

“We urge everyone to exercise restraint and make use of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms to de-escalate to prevent a fast deterioration of the security situation.”

In a related development, the UN and partners continue to ramp up response to the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Herat province in western Afghanistan on Saturday, killing more than 2,000 people.

The epicentre of the quake was in Zindajan District, where reports indicate that 100 per cent of homes have been destroyed, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Monday.

It is estimated that more than 12,000 people have been affected across five districts of Herat province. Several hundred households have also been displaced to the provincial capital, also called Herat.

Numbers are expected to rise in the coming days, as search and rescue efforts and assessments continue.

The UN has deployed assessment teams to the area and is providing emergency shelter supplies and other items, including blankets, warm clothes, food, hygiene kits and water buckets.

Partners have also deployed health teams and are providing trauma and emergency surgery kits.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Daniel Endres, has also approved 5 million dollars allocation for a fund for Afghanistan to support immediate relief efforts. 

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