Guterres Urges Global Support for Jordan’s Humanitarian Efforts in Gaza

Dead Sea, June 11 (Petra) — United Nations Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres called on the international community to bolster Jordan’s significant role in aiding the people of the Gaza Strip and functioning as the primary regional center for humanitarian operations.

In his address at the Gaza Humanitarian Response Conference, Guterres expressed profound gratitude to Jordan for its comprehensive relief efforts, including aid convoys, airdrops, and field hospitals.

He particularly commended His Majesty King Abdullah II for his personal commitment to mobilizing the international community and his persistent advocacy for a robust coordination mechanism to ensure the safe and efficient flow of aid to Gaza.

Guterres underscored the dire situation in Gaza, describing it as a humanitarian catastrophe. “The massacres and killings in Gaza over the past eight months are unparalleled in my tenure as Secretary-General,” he said.

“At least 1.7 million people 75 percent of Gaza’s population have been displaced, often multiple times, with no safe place to go. Living conditions are deteriorating, public health is beyond crisis levels, and essential services are severely lacking.”

He highlighted the acute shortages of medical supplies and fuel, the lack of access to clean drinking water for over a million Palestinians, and the desperate levels of hunger and malnutrition, especially among children.

“More than 50,000 children are in need of treatment for acute malnutrition,” Guterres noted. He pointed out that despite these immense needs, at least half of all humanitarian missions are denied entry, obstructed, or canceled due to operational or security reasons.

Guterres lamented the significant reduction in the flow of vital humanitarian assistance to Gaza since the attack on the Rafah border crossing one month ago.

“The flow of vital humanitarian assistance to Gazans has fallen by two-thirds since the attack on the Rafah border crossing, even though this assistance was already severely insufficient,” he said.

The Secretary-General called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages, and the full respect of international humanitarian law.

He urged the Security Council and the international community to pressure Israel into opening all land crossings into the Gaza Strip and transferring control to the new Palestinian government. “All available roads leading to Gaza must be opened,” he stated.

Guterres emphasized the critical role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the severe challenges it faces due to inadequate support.

“UNRWA is the backbone of this humanitarian response, and it is suffering unbearably alongside the people it supports,” he said.

He expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the 193 UNRWA employees who were killed, stressing the need for full accountability for their deaths and condemning the targeting of UN personnel and facilities.

In his speech, Guterres also commended Egypt’s decisive leadership and the efforts of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in supporting humanitarian relief and striving for peace.

“I urge the international community to support Jordan’s efforts as it plays its critical role in helping the people of Gaza and as the main regional center for humanitarian work,” he said.

“I would also like to commend President El-Sisi for Egypt’s pivotal role in providing humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza and working towards ending this tragic conflict.”

The Secretary-General acknowledged the immense bravery of humanitarian workers in Gaza, particularly Palestinian aid workers, who operate under extremely difficult conditions.

“Our fellow Palestinian humanitarian aid workers, in particular, work in the face of formidable obstacles and in almost impossible conditions,” he said. “Without these brave individuals, the relief operation in Gaza would have collapsed.”

Guterres called for the protection of UNRWA and other humanitarian partners, emphasizing the importance of secure methods and effective deconfliction mechanisms to ensure the safe delivery of aid.

He also highlighted the need for immediate efforts to clear roads contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance inside Gaza.

“The only way forward lies in finding a political settlement that paves the way for sustainable peace, based on the existence of two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as their capital, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines and relevant United Nations resolutions,” Guterres concluded.

“Resolving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is ultimately political in nature. Let us continue to work to make this a reality as we seek to answer today’s call to action for Palestinians in Gaza whose needs are urgent and pressing.”

//Petra// AA
11/06/2024 14:43:03