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Aid agencies face daunting humanitarian task in war ravaged Gaza

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b236 (Published 21 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b236
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    United Nations officials say that they face a daunting task to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people, including many wounded people, in war ravaged Gaza and to repair and restore essential services.

    However, the UN and independent aid agencies were taking advantage of the fragile ceasefire agreed separately on Sunday 18 January by Israel and Hamas to usher in badly needed drugs and hospital equipment, food, fuel, shelter equipment, and other basics.

    The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, called for a “durable peace” and emphasised that this would require “an open functioning system for the crossings in and out of Gaza, one that will allow full access for humanitarian goods and personnel.”

    Mr Ban said that he was dispatching a high level humanitarian and early assessment mission in Gaza. Within 10 days of this mission the UN …

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