Kerry promises $58 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza

The United States will provide US$47 million (S$58.2 million) in humanitarian aid to help Palestinians hit by Israel's campaign in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The United States will provide US$47 million (S$58.2 million) in humanitarian aid to help Palestinians hit by Israel's campaign in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - The United States will provide US$47 million (S$58.2 million) in humanitarian aid to help Palestinians hit by Israel's campaign in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Monday.

"We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Mr Kerry said in Cairo as he met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"No country can stand by while rockets are attacking it, and tunnels are dug in order to come into your country and assault your people," Mr Kerry told reporters.

"But always, in any conflict, there is concern about civilians - about children, women, communities that are caught in it," Mr Kerry said.

Of the funding, the United States will provide US$15 million to the UNRWA, the Palestinian refugee agency, to meet part of its US$60 million appeal for assistance due to the crisis.

The remaining US$32 million will come from the US Agency for International Development, including US$10 million that was already directed toward the Palestinians but will be rechanneled to meet immediate needs, the State Department said.