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United Nations, Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, humanitarian assistance, civilian population, conflict

United Nations humanitarian envoy calls for a paradigm shift in aid to Gaza

United Nations, April 25.- The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, called for a paradigm shift for the entry of humanitarian assistance to the enclave given the immense needs of the civilian population trapped in the conflict.

Reporting to the UN Security Council, the expert considered necessary an increase in the quality and quantity of assistance, irreversible measures for safe delivery, along with recovery planning.

Kaag, who since January has been coordinating a mechanism to expand the arrival of vital supplies to the Strip, warned that effective humanitarian operations cannot be reduced to counting trucks.

This is a false metric to evaluate whether humanitarian assistance is sufficient, much less whether it meets basic humanitarian requirements, she stressed.

The expert explained that acutely malnourished children or pregnant women require therapeutic and supplementary foods, as well as long-term medical care, not just carbohydrates.

Humanitarian agencies must be able to transport food, medicine and other supplies safely and through all possible routes and crossings, to and throughout every part of Gaza, she insisted.

The former deputy prime minister of the Netherlands also highlighted the necessary role of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to provide vital aid and essential services such as health and education.

UNRWA, she added, is irreplaceable and indispensable as a humanitarian lifeline and must be allowed to fulfill its mandate.

Also in charge of the reconstruction of Gaza, the envoy echoed the serious concerns of the UN about a possible Israeli operation in Rafah, which would aggravate an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, with consequences for the people already displaced.

According to the coordinator, this would further limit the ability of the United Nations to fulfill its purposes on the ground.

At the same time, she confirmed the implementation of the mechanism approved by the Security Council to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza.

This, she announced, will initially apply to routes from Cyprus and Jordan, respectively, while technical consultations with Egypt for a third will soon be completed.

The mechanism will enable prioritization, predictability, visibility and tracking of supplies to Gaza, designed to facilitate and support the work of all humanitarian partners on the ground.

In Kaag's opinion, the magnitude of the destruction and the devastating impact of this war on the entire population require an ambitious and comprehensive support plan with proportional investments.

More definitive and urgent measures are needed to set the course for a sustained flow of humanitarian and commercial goods in terms of volume, need and scope, the coordinator acknowledged, insisting that every day counts. (PL) (Photo: Taken from the Internet)

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