UN thanks Qatar, UAE for Gaza Strip aid

UN thanks Qatar, UAE for Gaza Strip aid

Qatar donates $9 million, UAE $ 2 million after UN warns of acute energy crisis in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday

By Ahmed al-Masri and Gulsen Topcu

DOHA, Qatar (AA) - The United Nations (UN) thanked Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their donations to the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

On Tuesday the UN warned of an acute energy crisis in the blocked Palestinian territory.

“Emergency fuel for critical facilities in Gaza will become exhausted within the next ten days,” the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a written statement.

The UN said that the $9 million donation from Qatar and the $2 million donation from the UAE would provide the needy people in Gaza with health, water and sanitation services.

Earlier in a written statement, Mohammed Al-Emadi, the head of Qatar's Gaza reconstruction committee announced that the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gave instructions for the emergency assistance to Gaza worth $9 million.

In recent years, Qatar has carried out numerous reconstruction projects in Gaza, which has included building roads and hospitals.

Separately the UAE also announced that it would donate $2 million to the fuel supply program for Gaza of OCHA.

The UN office said $6.5 million is required to provide 7.7 million liters of emergency fuel in Gaza in 2018. “This is the bare minimum needed to stave off a collapse of services,” it said.

Home to nearly two million people, the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip has struggled with severe electricity shortages since 2006.

The crisis has already forced several hospitals and medical centers to suspend services to patients in recent days.

OCHA estimates that 1.4 million liters of fuel are needed each month for the full functioning of critical facilities in Gaza.

Although the Gaza Strip requires an estimated 600 megawatts of electricity, it currently receives only 120 megawatts from Israel and another 32 megawatts from Egypt.

Gaza's sole functioning power plant, meanwhile, is only able to generate 60 megawatts of electricity, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority.

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