As #Gaza electricty crisis grows, urgent measures needed. The poorest #Palestinians pay the price for the privileges of a few #UN
Reform of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) is essential to improve revenue collection and transparency in line with international standards. The defacto authorities in Gaza must ensure that collection rates are improved and that revenue collected in Gaza is returned to the legitimate Palestinian authorities in order to keep fuel and electricity supply flowing. All in Gaza must share the burden by paying their bills.
It is the poorest Palestinians in Gaza who pay the price for exceptions and privileges that others enjoy.
This reform, as well as the necessary investments in reducing electricity losses and upgrading the grid in Gaza, should be financed and supported by the international community but it cannot do it alone. It must go hand-in-hand with the Palestinian Government facilitating the purchase of fuel for the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) under conditions that temporarily alleviate or substantially reduce relevant fuel taxes.
Israel also has a significant responsibility to assist by facilitating the entry of materials for repairs and maintenance of the grid and power plant. Egyptian power lines to Gaza also need to be repaired and upgraded.
The social, economic and political consequences of this impending energy crisis should not be underestimated. Palestinians in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures.
I call on all parties, including the international community, to come together and ensure this vital issue of energy for Gaza is resolved once and for all. The United Nations stands ready to provide its support in achieving this vital goal.
A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar, Iraq, where ISIL’s campaign of ethnic cleansing is continuing.
The United Nations has confirmed reports that ISIL and associated armed groups have seized control of nearly all of Sinjar and Tal Afar districts in Ninewa Province, including the oil fields of Ain Zala and Batma, bordering the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As many as 200,000 civilians, most of them from the Yezidi community, have fled to the Sinjar Mountains. We have grave concerns for the physical safety of these civilians – particularly those now trapped in Jabal Sinjar area, as it is now surrounded by ISIL militants. They are in urgent need of basic items, including water, food and medicine. The physical protection of these people is also a primary concern. We have received reports of men, women and children dying of heat exhaustion and individuals being killed by ISIL as they flee. An unknown number of civilians are also reported to have moved towards Dahuk and Zako in the Kurdistan Region.
The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government should urgently restore their security cooperation in dealing with the crisis. Iraqi authorities, civil society and international partners to work with the United Nations to ensure the delivery of life saving humanitarian assistance. The Kurdistan Regional Government should ensure that those civilians fleeing the violence are facilitated entry to the Kurdistan Region in order to receive protection and humanitarian assistance.
My deputy, Gyorgy Busztin, met His Excellency President Fuad Ma’soum earlier today. The Iraqi Head of State shared his grave concern over the situation of minorities impacted by the ISIL takeover of significant areas in the Ninewah plain. He called it the collective responsibility of all Iraqis to assist the displaced and expressed particular concern over the fate of the minority Yezidi community.
Throughout the day we have been in touch with the authorities in Baghdad and Erbil identify how best to help in this grave situation. The UN Humanitarian team is urgently reviewing options on how to get aid to those most in need, however this is extremely difficult as fighting continues. I want to reiterate that international law imposes obligations on all parties to the present conflict to ensure the protection of civilians and their access to humanitarian assistance.