UN urges Gulf nations to donate money for Palestinians in Gaza

The United Nations urged oil-rich Gulf nations Monday to donate money to help Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as it held a donor coordination meeting in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi. UN agencies need an estimated $100 million for emergency aid in Gaza, particularly for food, fuel and medicine for Palestinians trying to weather the two-week-old Israeli offensive, said Abdul Haq Amiri, the head of the UN's regional Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Dubai. "We have negotiated access, we have people on the ground and we are making sure the humanitarian corridor remains open," Amiri told The Associated Press by phone from Abu Dhabi, where UN and Red Crescent representatives presented local charities and international and regional donors with priority needs in Gaza. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the only two Gulf countries that have donated money to UN agencies operating in Gaza since the Israeli offensive began on December 27, said Abdul Aziz Arrukban, the UN's Special Humanitarian Envoy to the Middle East.