La distribution de l'aide aux Palestiniens toujours cruciale – Centre d'actualités de l'ONU Français
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4 June 2009 – In light of the recent conflict in Gaza, the delivery of emergency and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians will continue to be critical, according to a new United Nations report, which adds that restrictions and obstacles are still making it difficult for the world body to provide aid.
“It will remain impossible to meet the needs in the occupied Palestinian territory without a full opening of all crossings into Gaza and a significant easing of restrictions of movement into, out of and within the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a report outlining UN efforts to support the Palestinian population and institutions.
The report, covering the period from May 2008 to April 2009, states that increased isolation, internal Palestinian divisions and the armed conflict of December 2008-January 2009 led to “substantial economic and humanitarian deterioration” in the Gaza Strip.
“Throughout the reporting period, most of the United Nations projects were halted owing to the lack of materials in Gaza,” says the report. “It became increasingly difficult to carry out humanitarian operations, and in November 2008, the Israeli authorities further restricted access of aid workers as well as delivery of commercial and humanitarian goods into Gaza.
“Relief items, equipment and construction material, and spare parts need to be allowed into Gaza, as should the free movement of goods and persons, the free and sustained movement of humanitarian personnel, and regular cash flows,” the report states.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, although Israeli restrictions on movement decreased in some locations, the number of obstacles remained overall the same during the reporting period. In addition, settlements and outposts have expanded and house demolitions have increased, in particular in East Jerusalem.
“Improvements must be made in order to allow the population in the West Bank access to livelihoods and social services and to maintain normal social and economic relations,” Mr. Ban adds.
Despite the existing obstacles, the delivery of assistance will continue to be critical, especially in light of the recent Gaza conflict, states the Secretary-General. “Efforts to support the long-term recovery of Palestine and development efforts should remain high on the agenda.”
Regarding the overall economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, the report points out that, as a result of the situation in Gaza, real gross domestic product was estimated to have declined by 13 per cent from a year before, while per capita income dipped to almost 34 per cent below its level in 2000.
The report also notes that the Palestinian Authority continued to introduce institution-building and prudent fiscal policies and reforms. It made substantial progress in 2008 in establishing security in several Palestinian cities in the West Bank, which led to improved business confidence. However, the report adds, progress in the development of sector-specific strategies was relatively slow.