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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations Radio
24 April 2008

Fuel crisis in Gaza forces suspension of UN food aid delivery

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The UN humanitarian agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, has been forced to shut down its food distribution in Gaza because a promised shipment of fuel from Israel has not arrived.

The agency warned yesterday that it is running out of gasoline for its trucks that deliver aid to 650,000 residents of Gaza. The Deputy Commissioner General for UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, told UN Radio, that the agency has been in this situation of uncertainty many times this year, because of the Israeli closure of crossings into Gaza.

"To run an operation, which is very, very large – 200,000 children in schools, supporting hundreds of thousands of food aid beneficiaries -- it is unthinkable to continue to do so in a situation of logistical uncertainty. Not to mention the consequences on the rest of the population of Gaza, of course, but even looking only at our operation, the situation is disgraceful."

Mr. Grandi says the only real solution to the energy crisis is to reopen the crossings to allow in people, goods and services into Gaza. Anything else, he says, is just a band-aid.

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