update deskU.S. News

US announces another $90 million in aid to Gaza

Samantha Power, the USAID administrator, announced the additional $90 million on the same day that the Pentagon said the temporary pier will cost $90 million less than projected.

Samantha Power, the USAID administrator, at a World Food Program warehouse in Amman, Jordan, being used to prepare aid for shipment to Gaza on Feb. 26, 2024. Credit: USAID.
Samantha Power, the USAID administrator, at a World Food Program warehouse in Amman, Jordan, being used to prepare aid for shipment to Gaza on Feb. 26, 2024. Credit: USAID.

Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, announced on Wednesday that Washington would provide another $90 million in aid for the Gaza Strip.

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations made the announcement on the same day that the U.S. Department of Defense said that it projects the temporary pier anchored to the Gaza coast, which it used to deliver aid until the pier broke and required repairs, will cost $90 million less than expected.

It wasn’t clear if there was any connection between the $90 million increase and the projected $90 million in savings.

In remarks on Wednesday, Power said a deal on the table “would advance Israel’s security, allow for a massive surge of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and set the conditions for people to return to their home areas.”

The deal, which U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Friday, “offers a roadmap for ending the crisis altogether so that we can move towards a long-term reconstruction plan,” Power said. “But while we wait for Hamas to take this deal that’s on the table, we have to do everything we can to mitigate the suffering of millions of Palestinian civilians now.”

The U.S. official referred to Israeli “escalation of hostilities in Rafah.”

“Partners on the ground have told us that since May 7, they have seen a 500% increase in patients with blast injuries and a 600% increase in patients with gunshot wounds,” Power said. “Yet the majority of Gaza’s health centers are non-operational. And virtually all 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip require emergency food assistance.”

The U.S. official didn’t specify which partners she was referring to. Some organizations ostensibly focused on delivering aid have connections to Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group of nearly 30 years, and the terror group runs official health organizations in Gaza.

“Today, I am announcing more than $90 million in additional shelter; water, sanitation and hygiene; health and protection assistance; and, of course, food,” Power said on Wednesday. “That brings the total humanitarian aid that the United States has announced for Palestinians since the beginning of the conflict to $270 million.”

She called on other donors “to step up as well and to help meet the staggering levels of need,” and suggested that the Jewish state was not doing enough to protect Gazans and aid workers.

“We continue to press the Israeli government to do far more to protect aid workers, and to protect Palestinian civilians,” Power said. “Building upon President Biden’s recent coordination with Egypt and Israel on resuming aid from Egypt to Kerem Shalom, we are relentlessly pushing both countries to open the Rafah border crossing, and to keep all crossings into Gaza functioning at maximum capacity.”

“We are also working around the clock with our humanitarian partners to facilitate a massive surge in humanitarian assistance,” she said. “We are preparing for a ceasefire, which would prove the best opening to get aid safely and effectively distributed to all who need it.”

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