Palestinian aid figures simply don’t add up
THE Star reported in “Millions in aid sought for Palestinian refugees” (January 11) that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has launched an $813million emergency appeal for “Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory” and those who fled the conflict in Syria.
This report says 430 000 Palestinians who have remained in Syria are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
What seems to be a contradiction of facts is this huge sum of $402m earmarked for Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Bank. The money is said to provide rental assistance to the 6 500 families who lost their homes during the 2014 hostilities as well as 50 000 families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
This very newspaper reported extensively in October 2014 on a donor conference held that same month in Cairo which raised over $5 billion earmarked specifically for the very purpose of damaged and destroyed homes in Gaza. Yet today’s (Wednesday’s) report is that a further $402m is being allocated for the same purpose. One needs to question where the original $5bn went?
Could the rumours of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal living in Qatar having accumulated $2.5bn be true?
According to UN figures there are 13.5 million Syrians, including those 430 000 Palestinians, needing aid, with 6 million Syrians internally displaced and almost 5 million refugees outside of that country. Why then has this $813m emergency appeal been earmarked for Palestinians to the exclusion of the rest of the Syrian population, including those lucky enough to have escaped the horrors of Aleppo? Allan Wolman