A Palestinian family breaks the Ramadan fast on the rubble of their home in Rafah, southern Gaza, recently destroyed in Israeli strikes, 14 May.
'Every one in two Palestinians in Gaza is food aid dependent, and the largest provider of humanitarian assistance in the territory is warning that it may soon be unable to provide that aid.
UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, stated on Monday that it must secure $60 million by June to be able to provide food aid to one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza – half of the territory’s population.
Some 620,000 Palestinians in Gaza survive on $1.60 per day. An additional 390,000 survive on around $3.50 per day, according to the agency.
It is the latest plea by a UN body for increased international assistance to Gaza, where, as UNRWA puts it, “financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs.”
Israeli siege increases need
Those needs are a direct consequence of Israel’s land, sea and air blockade on the territory, now in its 12th year, and successive Israeli military offensives that have wrought widespread destruction and greatly diminished Gaza’s productive sector.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that Israel’s blockade of Gaza violates the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israel’s use of force in the territory has been the subject of multiple UN commissions of inquiry.
“From fewer than 80,000 Palestine refugees receiving UNRWA social assistance in Gaza in the year 2000, there are today over one million people who need emergency food assistance without which they cannot get through their day,” the agency stated.
More than half of Gaza’s population is unemployed, one of the highest rates in the world. International aid and remittances from abroad “have held Gaza back from the brink of total collapse,” according to UNRWA.'
Read more: UN warns that Gaza food aid about to run out