Donors Pledge Over $2 Billion for Gaza at Kuwait Conference as UN Urges Ceasefire

Sun May 12 2024
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KUWAIT CITY: A conference of international donors in Kuwait pledged over $2 billion in aid to the Gaza Strip on Sunday as the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “immediate” ceasefire in the ongoing relentless Israeli bombardment.

Organized by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the conference aimed to mobilize support for humanitarian interventions in Gaza. The pledged funds, to be dispersed over two years with the possibility of extension, are intended for life-saving interventions, shelter, health, education, and economic empowerment.

In a video address, UN chief Guterres reiterated the urgent need for a ceasefire, the release of hostages held in Gaza, and an increase in humanitarian aid. He emphasized that while a ceasefire is crucial, the road to recovery from the devastation of war will be long. “I repeat my call, the world’s call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and an immediate surge in humanitarian aid,” Guterres said in a video address. “But a ceasefire will only be the start. It will be a long road back from the devastation and trauma of this war”, he added.

Israeli strikes on Gaza continued despite international outcry, with an expanded evacuation order for Rafah and military incursions into eastern areas of the city, shutting down a key aid crossing.

The UN chief’s warnings about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza were echoed by the conference participants, who emphasized the urgent need for aid to alleviate human suffering, provide shelter, and support recovery efforts.

Since October 7 last year, Israel has launched a relentless bombardment campaign that has killed more than 35,034 Palestinian people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

On Friday in Nairobi, Guterres warned that Gaza faced an “epic humanitarian disaster” if Israel launched a full-scale ground operation in Rafah.

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