United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the situation in Gaza as “a never-ending humanitarian nightmare for civilians” as he once again reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire.
“Their neighborhoods wiped out. Their loved ones killed. Bombs raining down, while being denied life’s very basics: food, water, medicine, electricity,” Guterres said in a video message that was broadcast to the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza held in Paris on Thursday.
He also said that the amount of aid trickling in was “a drop in the ocean” and said the international community must step up to protect civilians, urging nations to invest in a $1.2 billion UN humanitarian appeal.
“We can help civilians in Gaza see at last, and at the very least, a glimmer of hope – a sign of solidarity – and a signal that the world sees their plight and cares enough to act,” he said.
Also in attendance at the Gaza aid conference was Martin Griffiths, the UN’s top relief official, who pressed his concerns about any proposal to push thousands into “safe zones.”
He said that the UN could not be “part of a unilateral proposal to push hundreds of thousands of desperate civilians in Gaza into so-called safe zones.” It had not been involved in any preparations for the arrival of displaced people to a prospective “safe zone” in Gaza, Griffiths said.
Griffiths also raised concerns about “safe zone” conditions, saying that “satisfactory conditions do not exist anywhere in Gaza to ensure adequate shelter, food, water, sanitation and health.”
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