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Khan Younis Refugee Camp Gaza, Palestine

January 2, 2012 1 comment

Khan Younis refugee camp

Excerpts From UNRWA Office, From Gaza, Palestine


Posted On January 1, 2011 by Marivel Guzman
All the content is for information only, awareness and diffusion of the tragedy that Gaza lives right now due to Israel Siege and ultimately largely to the long occupation that have severed the lives of an entire Country.

Khan Yoinis in Gaza Strip, Palestine is just a minor example of the damage of Israel Occupation, the public institution that serve to prologue the occupation and in their roles of Aid Agencies perpetuate the occupation are as guilty as Israel is.

UNRWA is a branch of UN created specifically to Aid Refugees of Conflicts created by war/enterprises organized by the UN Club. UN is an organization that primary intention when created was to avert wars, but as we seen over and over UN is the maker of war and conflicts.

Even thought UNRWA “Aid” alleviates some necessities for the refugees that are registered with this Institution, the great necessity is left unattended.

Construction Material, Food, Health Products and Machinery are primordial to take Gaza out of its misery, but Israel and its Allies with lame excuses are deeping the entire population in despair with no immediate solution offered to Gaza residents but the crumbs of a subsidized Aid.

The governments in charge of UN  and its branches give their “Donations” and they look the other way, and pretend everything will be OK. Well nothing is ok, in fact UNRAW is underfunded and its inability. to mitigate the suffering of the refugees is  well known.

“UNRWA relies almost entirely upon donations from individuals, institutional donors and governments. Every dollar you donate to UNRWA helps restore dignity to the lives of refugees who are unable to support themselves due to the loss of livelihoods under the blockade” Form UNRWA Office, and yet astronomical salaries are paid to  top executives. The latest post offering for UNRWA official in Gaza was in November 2011, Head of UNRWA office in Gaza. “

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $111,950 net tax free with dependants or $102,847 single, plus post adjustment of 57% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave. Staff members based in Gaza are entitled to additional benefits, subject to eligibility, including expanded leave provisions, hardship pay, and R&R leave every 6 weeks (according to the UN classification of the duty station and subject to change without notice). While Gaza is a non-family duty station, eligible staff members may set up a second household in a nearby location to have their family nearby. Initial contract is for one year, with the possibility of further extensions. Note: following the assessment of relevant academic qualifications and work experience, the Agency reserves the right to appoint the incumbent at one grade below the advertised level.”

There are more than 11,000 personnel in Gaza that work for UNRWA, most of the recruiters are foreigners from around the world, there are “some” jobs that  are given to people from Gaza but are the lowest paid.

Gaza counts with a tremendously educated population graduated from their Universities, they are more than qualified to take top UNRWA posts , they speak Arabic, they know the local custom, they know the internal conflict, they are directly involved in Gaza life, they should be given the opportunity to be part of the solution or at least to take advantage of this foreign “Aid” more directly, will serve to revive in little scale their economy as the Money will stay in Gaza and will not be spend in Israel, as most of the foreign workers are to freely cross the Eretz crossing to Israel in weekly bases.

“It juz shows the magnitude of what’s on display at the moment. Yet the infinite potential of the educated youth who are more than capable of doin much of the needed work to help readdress & reconstruct Gaza’s economy given the chance await for the dawn of a new day. I have no doubt having met with many of the young people I rubbed shoulders with in Gaza that they would flourish when the blockade is eventually broken. Until then the greatest asset of Gaza (which is its people) especially the young have to continue to be battle strong. It’s easier said than done I’m afraid.” Mohammad Hamza

Absolutely! true. Every country in the world has more or less the same problems that Gaza is suffering; extreme poverty belts, severe unemployment, underfunded social programs like health, and after school programs, political internal conflicts, religious division, corruption in the government spheres, plus a Political Blockade imposed by Israel and blessed by the UN country security council members, and an on going military occupation, all this incorporated to the Public Aid System aka Foreign Welfare that makes Gaza a Unique Spot on Earth.

Which can be considered a blessing in any country which is a highly educated society. in Gaza is kind of a soft burden, because an Educated Society is not easy manageable and highly susceptible to change, highly educated society makes it citizens to understand the problematic of the country and will try to do something about it, civil disobedience, non violent resistance movements and violent movement as well, all intended to change the Status Quo of the occupation and the internal dynamics of the political process that seems not help but to keep the population “Controlled”.
It is happening in Gaza, we saw it with the March 15 March, where the youth came together to yell to their leaders what is wrong with them, a move that was not welcome by the authorities but at the end they have to take in consideration, the magnitude of the wave around the world, and in an unprecedented move that surprise world leaders and the world, the two strong internal factions came to an agreement.
Now the Odds are in the hands of time and the World, that every day are taking more notice of the conflict and are speaking up, adding their efforts to the ongoing resistance movement inside Gaza.

What Gaza needs is not Aid, but to be liberated, to be allowed to trade their products, to import material to reconstruct the destroyed infrastructure, to let it be a free region, to take advantage of it’s potential as a fishing port, and tourist destination. Khan Younis, Gaza Stritp, Palestine.

Khan Younis


Khan Younis refugee camp is located about two kilometers from the Mediterranean coast, north of Rafah. It lies west of the town of Khan Younis, a major commercial center and stop-off point on the ancient trade route to Egypt.

Archive photo of children in Khan Younis

After the 1948 war, 35,000 refugees took shelter in the camp, having fled their homes during the hostilities. Most were from the Be’er Sheva area. Today, Khan Younis camp is home to nearly 72,000 refugees.

Blockade

Life for nearly all refugees in the camp is more difficult because of the blockade of Gaza, with much higher unemployment. Fewer families can provide for themselves, leaving a staggering proportion of the population dependent on UNRWA’s food and cash assistance. Ninety per cent of the camp’s water is unfit for human consumption, so basic hygiene is another big concern.

Reconstruction

Over the years, many of the refugees living in Khan Younis lost their shelters in Israel Defense Forces operations. Prior to the imposition of the blockade, UNRWA had commenced a significant re-housing project to accommodate all those who had lost their shelters. However, the blockade prevented UNRWA from bringing in construction materials to complete the project, leaving thousands of people without permanent shelters.

UNRWA only received permission in 2010 to bring in the materials to complete a number of housing units for refugees whose shelters were demolished years ago. UNRWA estimates that it must construct a minimum of 10,000 shelters to re-house refugees currently living in unacceptable conditions and/or who have lost their homes as a result of the conflict.

DONOR OPIUM, the impact of international aid to Palestine

This documentary film, directed by Mariam Shahin and George Azar, and funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, features Palestinian criticism of this externally funded “development”.

For twenty years now the international donor community has financially supported Palestinian institution-building, infrastructure development, the economy, public employees’ salaries, health and education, social welfare, the police, electricity production, private credit guarantees, and the bigger part of the civil society organizations with regards to democracy promotion, human rights, tolerance, women rights etc.

Peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state have been the declared goals of all the support. But actual results are the fragmentation and pacification of the Palestinian people.

Statistics

  • Nearly 72,000 registered refugees
  • 25 school buildings, 22 running double-shifts, accommodating a total of 38 schools
  • One food distribution centre
  • Three health centres
  • Demographic profile:
    Graph of Khan Younis' demographic profile

Programmes in the camp

Major problems

  • Overcrowding
  • Housing shortage
  • High unemployment
  • Access to adequate water and electricity supplies
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