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i24 News – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has criticized countries that have expressed concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza but have not backed up their rhetoric with aid.

Speaking at a fundraising conference in Jordan, Blinken highlighted the urgent need for increased assistance, noting that only one-third of the current United Nations appeal for Gaza is funded, leaving a shortfall of approximately $2.3 billion.

“Every country can help fill this gap,” Blinken said. “Yet some who’ve expressed great concern over the suffering of Palestinian people in Gaza, including countries with the capacity to give a lot, have provided very little or nothing at all. It is time for everyone – everyone – to step up.”

Blinken acknowledged countries that have already contributed generously but urged them to give more. He noted that the U.S. had recently announced an additional $404 million in new aid to Palestinians, bringing the total US assistance to more than $674 million over the past eight months.

The Secretary of State also detailed steps that Washington has pressed Israel to take to alleviate humanitarian conditions in Gaza. These include speeding up the inspection of aid trucks, clarifying and shortening the list of prohibited goods, increasing visas for aid workers, improving deconfliction channels with aid groups, and expanding authorizations of equipment for hospitals and for repairing water and sanitation systems.

Blinken mentioned that Israel has taken steps to improve the humanitarian situation, such as opening additional crossings into Gaza, but stressed that more needs to be done to reduce civilian casualties.

Addressing the dire situation in Gaza, Blinken highlighted the displacement of over a million people, the lack of access to clean drinking water, widespread hunger, and the destruction of most of Gaza’s sanitation system and hospitals.

“Ninety-five percent of people there cannot access clean drinking water. Hunger is everywhere. Virtually everyone in Gaza depends on aid to survive. Most of Gaza’s sanitation system has been destroyed. Fewer than a dozen of Gaza’s 40 hospitals are open, and more than 270 humanitarian workers have been killed,” he said.

Blinken emphasized the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, urging all parties to press Hamas to accept Israel’s latest hostage deal proposal. “The single most effective step we can take to address the urgent humanitarian challenges in Gaza is to reach an immediate – and ultimately, enduring – ceasefire,” Blinken said.

He shared stories of Palestinian children affected by the conflict, illustrating the human cost of the crisis. “These three children – Abed, Fadi, Dunya – and all the Palestinian civilians suffering in Gaza, we know they’re not numbers. They’re not abstractions. They’re human beings,” Blinken said.

“They’re children, they’re women, they’re men who all want the same things that we want for ourselves and for our loved ones, just like the people who were murdered in Israel on October 7th, just like the hostages who continue to be held in Gaza to this day.”

Source of original article: World – (
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