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Department of Public Information (DPI)
25 January 2008
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARIE OKABE
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
Friday, January 25, 2008
SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONTINUE DISCUSSIONS ON SITUATION IN GAZA
This afternoon, the Security Council is scheduled to hold consultations at 3 p.m. to continue their discussion of a draft Presidential Statement on Gaza.
GAZA: CROSSINGS REMAIN CLOSED, POWER CUTS CONTINUE
On Gaza, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that all three crossings for goods from Israel into Gaza were closed today. As a result, the World Food Programme will be unable to give a full ration of food to 10,000 of its poorest beneficiaries on Sunday.
Three hundred thousand liters of industrial fuel did make it into Gaza today. But due to limited reserves, the Gaza power plant has reduced its power output, causing power cuts of eight hours a day. Fuel reserves are expected to run out on Sunday, according to OCHA.
OCHA also reports that about half of Gazan households have access to running water for only one or two hours a day.
In addition, Gaza’s waste water system is currently only partially functioning, leading to the daily dumping of 30 million liters of untreated sewage into the sea.
Asked what the Secretary-General is doing to alleviate the humanitarian problems in Gaza, the Spokeswoman noted that the Secretary-General has been talking to all parties concerned. She noted in particular his call earlier this week to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his meeting with Israeli leaders, including the President and Foreign Minister, while he was in Davos.
Meanwhile, Okabe added, UN humanitarian agencies are doing what they can on the ground in Gaza to meet the urgent needs of the people.