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UNRWA's Lazzarini Depicts ‘Catastrophic’ Situation in Gaza, Fears for Children’s Future

Speaking yesterday before the Advisory Commission of UNRWA in Geneva, Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini presented a catastrophic picture of the situation in the Gaza Strip, particularly as it affects children. Moreover, he warned, UNRWA itself is on the verge of collapse, due to chronic lack of funding. He pleaded with member states to take action so that the UN Organization can fulfill the mission it has carried out for 75 years. He pointed out that since the war began on Oct. 8, his agency has paid a very high price—193 of its personnel in Gaza have been killed, and more than 180 of its installations damaged or destroyed.

And the children? The situation is such that “an entire generation” could be lost, due to hunger and poverty, the UNRWA leader warned. Gaza is a “living hell” for 2 million people—children continue to die from malnutrition and dehydration, “while food and clean water wait in trucks” outside the enclave. There are more than 650,000 children who are “deeply traumatized … living in the rubble,” with no access to education. “Gazans are clinging to life, displaced repeatedly across a ravaged territory.”

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