U.S. Government Relief for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
In addition to working diplomatically to achieve a ceasefire, the United States government has contributed almost $60 million for the provision of food, potable water, medicine, and plastic sheeting for emergency shelter needs.
The United States government does not run refugee camps in Gaza, nor supply food directly. Instead, in keeping with our commitment to multilateral institutions, we contribute money to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Program, and other international and non-governmental organizations that work in Gaza. We co-operate with these groups to ensure the U.S. taxpayer money goes to relieve suffering, and not to corruption, or (in the case of Gaza) to Hamas militants.
Another pressing need has been shelter. At the height of the crisis, UNRWA housed over 50,000 displaced people at over 50 facilities in Gaza.
The US has also worked with UNRWA and non-governmental organizations such as Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and CARE International to provide candles, soap, blankets, batteries, and diapers to Palestinians facing shortages of practically everything.
Many Palestinians are also in urgent need of medical care. Here again UNRWA has been active, with a network of clinics and a staff of local doctors and nurses. In the first three days of February, UNRWA medical officers treated over 66,000 patients in clinic and hospital visits. USAID has bought hospital supplies such as gauze, syringes, tubes, X-ray film, tape, disinfectant, and silk for sewing up sutures.The needs of Gaza’s Palestinians remain acute. There continue to be major problems with access for humanitarian goods and the continued dependence of over 90 percent of the Gaza population on international assistance.