US announces $50 million aid program for Gaza Strip

In an attempt to address the needs of Gaza’s civilians and help Israel provide them with basic humanitarian assistance, the US has announced a five-year plan, during which it will distribute millions of dollars.

By: AP and JNS.Org

The United States has announced a $50 million aid program for the Gaza Strip.

US officials said Monday that the money will be used over five years to provide basic humanitarian assistance and create jobs. The money will be distributed by the US Agency for International Development in partnership with Catholic Relief Services.

The US Consul General in Jerusalem, Donald A. Blome, said the effort is meant to address “the dire needs that are obvious in Gaza.”

Gaza’s economy has sharply declined since the Hamas Islamic terror group took over the coastal territory nearly a decade ago. Unemployment is estimated to be over 40 percent.

The US considers Hamas a terror organization and has no official relations with the group.

The announcement comes as a recent World Bank report said that many leading Arab and Muslim states—such as Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia—have fallen well short of their pledges to help reconstruct Gaza following the 2014 summer war there between Israel and Hamas.

According to the report, Qatar, which promised $1 billion in aid, has so far only donated $152 million, while Saudi Arabia has only delivered 10 percent of its $500 million pledge and Turkey has only delivered one-third of the $200 million it promised.