Coordination with the United Nations will be necessary for implementing “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza.
Stéphane Dujarric addressed a reporter’s inquiry after the White House declared that Israel has consented to cease military actions in northern Gaza in order to facilitate daily four-hour breaks for humanitarian aid.
Parties must agree
“He stated that any cessation of hostilities and its implementation for humanitarian reasons will require coordination with the United Nations, particularly regarding timing and location.”
For this to be achieved without risk, all parties involved in the conflict would need to come to an agreement in order for it to have a significant impact on humanitarian efforts.
Fleeing north Gaza
Currently, aid workers are stating that individuals in the northern region of Gaza are still seeking refuge in the southern region, primarily by walking, amidst escalated conflicts. Approximately 50,000 individuals were evacuated on Wednesday.
According to reports, there were ongoing conflicts and bombardments along the road and its surrounding areas, putting evacuees at risk as they traveled south. There have been sightings of dead bodies on the road.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals residing in the northern region are confronting a severe humanitarian crisis, as they strive to obtain the bare minimum of water and sustenance for their survival.
Aid trickling in
Mr. Dujarric provided an update on the current attempts to increase aid delivery to Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt. This crossing is the only point of entry for the besieged enclave.
On Wednesday, he reported that 106 trucks arrived in Gaza with mainly food, medicine, health supplies, bottled water, and hygiene products.
Assistance distribution commenced on October 21st and 756 trucks have transported supplies so far. However, this is only a small portion of what is required and no fuel has been delivered yet.
As a result, Al Quds hospital in Gaza City had to suspend important services on Wednesday. The only facility offering maternity services in north Gaza, Al Awda hospital, has also issued a warning about its potential closure.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) delivered essential medical supplies and medicine to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. This was the second delivery since the conflict began on October 7th.
He stated that our colleagues at WHO have mentioned that the delivered quantities, although appreciated, are not enough to meet the current needs.
Honouring fallen colleagues
Mr. Dujarric stated that the UN Flag will be lowered on Monday as a tribute to the 99 UNRWA workers who have died during the ongoing bombardment and conflict.
Numerous employees, such as educators, school administrators, physicians, technicians, security personnel, and auxiliary staff, lost their lives alongside their loved ones.
The United Nations has requested all its offices worldwide to lower their flags and observe a moment of silence in their honor.