18 August 2006 – Hundreds of containers full of food for Palestinians in Gaza are still being held up in the Israeli port of Ashdod because of a backlog caused by the recent conflict in Lebanon that closed the port of Haifa, the United Nations said today.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reports that nearly 300 containers with emergency food for Gaza are stuck on ships in Ashdod, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
“That backlog is connected to the fact that a lot of these containers had to be redirected there from Haifa, which had been closed due to the fighting. Currently, some 830,000 people rely on UNRWA's Gaza food distributions.”
The UNRWA School at Rafah is also still providing shelter for 340 internally displaced Palestinians who fled Israeli shelling in southern Gaza, he added.
Also on the humanitarian front, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has secured vaccines for Palestinian children through 2007, as well as education supplies for its back-to-school campaign. UNICEF has also provided eight generators and five water tankers to its humanitarian partners in Gaza, and stepped up its mine-awareness education and psychosocial assistance programmes, Mr. Dujarric said.