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Emergencies
12 January 2009

Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rashid Mohamed Rashid said yesterday that Egypt was ready to provide the Gaza Strip with food substances for three months as of today through the Kerem Shalom border crossing. "Egypt is set to provide Gaza with the type of food that suits the conditions there," Rashid said in a joint press conference with Josette Sheeran, the executive manager of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Emergencies
12 January 2009

[...] Seven years after the fall of the Taliban and the establishment of a civilian-led, internationally backed government, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with rates of unemployment, illiteracy, infant mortality and malnutrition on a par with the most impoverished nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Most homes lack light, heat and running water; most babies are born at home and without medical help. Now, according to U.N. figures, the populace is getting even poorer. A combination of drought, soaring food prices, scarce jobs and meager wages has meant that about 5 million Afghans -- far more than in any recent year -- are slated to receive emergency food aid. Many families spend up to 80 percent of their income on food. [...] "People are really feeling the gap between rich and poor now," said Ebadullah Ebadi, a spokesman for the World Food Program here. "Once there were three classes in Afghanistan: the rich, the middle and the poor. Now those in the middle are joining the poor, and prices are rising so high that people can't feed their families on salaries that once allowed them to educate their children and even save a little money."

Emergencies
12 January 2009

As the conflict escalates, both Palestine and Israel begin to use web tools to launch a 21 century modern web promotion battle, including hackers, YouTube Videos, Twitter and blogs. An American cyber crime analyst observes that, since Israeli military force started to attack Islamic Resistance Movement--Hamas in Gaza, hundreds of Israeli and US websites have been attacked by radical hackers. The first group of videos released by Israeli force includes a black-and-white video on Israeli airforce bombing a rocket projectile launcher inside Gaza and a color video, about World Food Programme food delivery cars accessing Gaza

Emergencies
12 January 2009

Aid supply to affected populations in Gaza is severely hampered due to logistical difficulties and challenges, aid agencies said. Insecurity continues to threaten aid delivery into Gaza despite measures such as humanitarian access points and the daily three- hour ceasefire. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is grim. People are hungry, cold and lack access to electricity, heating or water, WFP spokesperson Robin Lodge said. WFP has distributed food to 96,000 people in Gaza to date.

Emergencies
12 January 2009

Growing numbers of Palestinians are fleeing their homes for makeshift shelters in schools, office buildings and a park as the Israeli Army continues to press its military campaign deeper into Gaza City. According to the United Nations, about 30,000 people are living in schools it sponsors and an estimated 60,000 have fled to the houses of relatives. The figures still represent a small part of Gaza's 1.5 million population but have doubled in the past four days, United Nations officials said, raising concerns about the humanitarian impact of a broader war.

Emergencies
12 January 2009

A divided UN Human Rights Council voted on Monday to condemn Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and set up a probe into "grave" human rights violations by Israeli forces against the Palestinians. The resolution setting up a fact-finding mission was adopted despite the lack of Western support. Thirty-three African, Asian, Arab and Latin American countries voted for the resolution. Thirteen mainly European states abstained, while Canada was the only country to vote against. The 47 member council -- frequently critical of Israel in the past -- normally seeks to adopt resolutions by consensus.

Emergencies
12 January 2009

As Israel and Hamas remained locked in a 16-day old Gaza war on Sunday – ignoring international calls for a ceasefire – the World Food Program (WFP) launched Operation Lifeline Gaza, a three month initiative to respond to growing hunger needs in the war-torn city. This is a global appear; and as Gandhi once said: To a hungry man, a piece of bread is a face of God. And right now, there's no more vulnerable moment to men, women, families, and individuals in Gaza than no having food," Josette Sheeran, executive director of the WFP, told a press conference in Cairo on Saturday. She announced that the WFP would begin Sunday Operation Lifeline Gaza, a global appeal to ramp up the distribution of food to people caught in the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory. The three-month operation aims to secure some 6,402 tons of foodstuffs to citizens of Gaza at an estimated budget of $20 million.

Emergencies
11 January 2009

"The situation in Gaza is dire with at least 80 per cent of the people needing urgent food assistance," Sheeran said at Rafah, on the Egyptian border with Gaza, where she had travelled to hear at first hand the humanitarian challenges on the ground.

Emergencies
10 January 2009

UNRWA announced on Friday that it resumes humanitarian assistance operations, which has been suspended due to the fighting. Because of the ground battles, the humanitarian assistance operation has been extremely difficult. According to WFP, there is a serious shortage of food, leaving at least 80 percent of the local residents in need of urgent food assistance. More than 3300 casualties have been reported. 10 trucks loaded with medical supplies and 11 doctors arrived in Gaza on Friday.

Emergencies
10 January 2009

The United Nations has announced that UN staff in Gaza will resume their activities leading to the delivery of more aid as soon as possible. It says it has received credible assurances from the Israelis that its staff and buildings will not be targeted as the offensive against Hamas enters its third week. Both Israel and Hamas have brushed off a UN appeal to halt devastating attacks that have claimed over 800 lives. "Eighty per cent of the population is in need right now, maybe even beyond that," Nancy Ronan, a spokeswoman for the UN's World Food Program, said. The UN halted aid shipments on Thursday after Israeli fire hit one of its convoys, killing a driver.