U.N. aid agency in Gaza cuts support to thousands of residents due to a lack of funding.
Story: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is short on cash. That means hundreds of thousands of needy Palestinians face cuts in food aid and schooling. Donors have pledged more than 700 million dollars to the agency to help refugee families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in last year's fighting between Hamas and Israel. But, so far, donors have only delivered 20 percent of the pledged funds. Sandra Mitchell, Deputy Commissioner-General of the agency says donors will bear the consequences if people can't be fed or schools opened. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW DEPUTY COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF UNRWA, SANDRA MITCHELL, SAYING: "Donors are continuing to support 'UNRWA'. Donors have never provided as much funding as they are right now to 'UNRWA'. It is just not keeping up with the needs. The conflict last year in Gaza, the ongoing conflict in Syria, the pressure of the occupation and the blockade adds more and more stress to the refugee populations. The ability of host governments to cope isn't as strong as it could be," Gaza refugee Um Khattab Dawla says her family depends on UNRWA. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF ALSHATE REFUGEE CAMP IN GAZA CITY, UM KHATTAB DAWLA, SAYING: "We are living by the help of God and UNRWA provides us food. This helps a bit, but if this stops what can people do? Kill each other? Beg? Steal? Go crazy?" Gazan teacher, Saeed Miqdad, who is employed by the agency says that if schools don't open, students will spend their time in the streets. He says this will have a serious impact on families and the Palestinian community in Gaza... A community afraid that the funding shortfall could devastate Gaza's already fragile economy.