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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 07, 2003

UN seeks $103 million US for Palestinians, says aid is crucial to peace talks

Helping their favorites through the back door? Why not make money and aid contingent upon stopping terrorism? Was there not a siphoning off of earlier monies to support terror activities, something UNRAW refused to investigate?
GENEVA (AP) - The "road map" for peace in the Middle East will only be successful if governments back it with aid for suffering Palestinians, the head of the UN relief agency in the region said Friday.
"If the international community wishes to encourage peace in the region it must continue working to ease the plight of the Palestinians," said Peter Hansen, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency, the body responsible for helping Palestinian refugees. Launching an appeal for $103 million US for emergency programs in Gaza and the West Bank during the second half of 2003, Hansen told reporters the aid was crucial to Palestinian confidence in the peace process.

"This population has suffered for more than 50 years as refugees, more than three years under the current crisis, and undoubtedly as negotiations go forward it will be called on to make more sacrifices," he said. [...]

Hansen said the agency supports all efforts for peace in the region but cautioned that the population will continue to need help for a long time.

"Even if peace should break out tomorrow, we can look forward to an unfortunately long period of great needs on the part of the Palestinian population. We are still talking about a humanitarian crisis that shows very few signs of abating. If anything matters have gone from bad to worse."

As well as its emergency program, UNRWA provides long-term education, health and social services to more than four million Palestinian refugees spread across the region. The programs cost around $400 million US annually.