Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN Security Council unanimously passes resolution

Read more

ENCORE!

Author Kiran Desai on early success and the Booker Prize

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Tyler Brûlé, Founder and Editor-in-chief of Monocle

Read more

REPORTERS

From Sarajevo to Guantanamo, the journey of the Algerian Six

Read more

#THE 51%

Angelique Kidjo, 'Africa’s premier diva'

Read more

UN aid workers call for ceasefire in Gaza

AFP

Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from the north-east of Gaza City on August 21, 2014Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from the north-east of Gaza City on August 21, 2014

Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from the north-east of Gaza City on August 21, 2014Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from the north-east of Gaza City on August 21, 2014

UN aid workers stepped up calls Thursday for an urgent Gaza ceasefire, warning that spiralling violence endangered their ability to respond to the needs of the 1.8 million affected population.

The head of UNICEF's field office in Gaza, Anne-Claire Dufay, told AFP that renewed hostilities were threatening the delivery of aid to hundreds of thousands of children with acute needs.

"We urgently need a few hours of ceasefire per day so we can provide support to affected children and families," Dufay told AFP.

Work to repair infrastructure damaged during the six-week war between Israel and Hamas has temporarily halted since hostilities resumed on Tuesday as truce talks unravelled, she said.

UNICEF teams had also had their movement restricted, Dufay said.

"In the current context we should at least have a few hours a day for a humanitarian ceasefire corridor," she said.

Ramesh Rajasingham, head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Gaza and the West Bank, said there was an "urgent need for an immediate ceasefire".

The number of displaced Palestinians has risen to 435,000, the UN says, since truce talks collapsed in Cairo and Hamas resumed rocket attacks on Israel and warplanes retaliated.

The United Nations warned that the number of displaced is expected to increase further with an extra 23,000 people already seeking shelter at 82 UN and seven government schools.

Rajasingham said constant movement between homes and shelters, when ceasefires begin and end, was traumatic, particularly for children.

"It is extremely difficult for us to do our job, to save lives, protect and assist those in need, including for medical staff to save lives, of aid workers to meet needs, for specialists to clear unexploded munitions, or for technicians to repair damage to infrastructure vital to the population," he said.

"In the long run, a permanent halt in violence stemming from a durable ceasefire is crucial to mitigating the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip," he added.

Date created : 2014-08-21