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Making the Gaza Crisis Even Worse: The suspension of UNRWA funding and the humanitarian catastrophe

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The humanitarian crisis is older than the war in Gaza. 

For years, Palestinians inside the besieged enclave have struggled to secure some of the basic needs for life.

The war, which has now entered its four month, has turned crisis into catastrophe. All 2.2 million residents of Gaza are now suffering from acute food insecurity, and Israel are continuing the bombardments, day after day. 

The humanitarian situation in Gaza was recently dealt a deadly blow when major donors of the UN aid and refugee agency, including the US and UK, announced that they would be suspending funding for UNRWA. 

The decision to suspend funding was made following allegations that UNRWA employees had taken part in the horrific attacks of 7 October. 

To date, evidence to prove those allegations has not been provided, and yet the suspension stands. 

This week, we look at the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the details of the famine gripping the population, the spread of infectious diseases, and the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare. Also we look at the decision by Western nations to suspend funding for UNRWA. Why they decided to suspend funding, why they asked for no evidence, why so many pulled out, and why Israel is trying to eliminate UNRWA in its entirety. 

Joining us to help us understand the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we speak with Dr. Yara Asi (@Yara_M_Asi). Dr. Asi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida in the School of Global Health Management and Informatics. Her research agenda focuses on global health, human rights, and development in fragile populations. She recently authored the book How War Kills: The Overlooked Threats to Our Health

To explain UNRWA and the impacts of the funding suspension, we speak with Chris Doyle (@Doylech). Chris is the Director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (@Caabu) and its lead spokesperson.

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