UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- "Humanitarian needs remain enormous (in Gaza), with the provision of fresh food and drinkable water the most pressing," Deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here Friday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) said that during the 72-hour ceasefire, aid agencies began to assess needs and stepped up the delivery of urgently needed relief, Haq said at a daily news briefing here, adding that the assessment found the enormous humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip.
"Today, a Palestinian boy was reportedly killed and six were wounded as a result of renewed hostilities and several Israelis were reportedly wounded," Haq said. "Rescue teams have retrieved additional bodies, bringing the cumulative death toll of Palestinians to 1,922, of whom 1,407 are believed to be civilians and 448 of those were identified as children. More than 9,500 people have been injured."
As of Thursday night, some 200,000 people were sheltering in 119 UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and government schools, 166, 000 of them in 90 UNRWA shelters.
The ceasefire has allowed for some repairs of critical electricity, water and sanitation infrastructure by local authorities. Preliminary estimates indicated that some 65,000 people whose homes were totally destroyed or heavily damaged need urgent support, including basic household items, said the spokesman.
The World Food Program (WFP) has provided ready-to-eat food rations every day to 330,000 people sheltered in UNRWA and government schools. Some 46,000 household kits have been distributed since the beginning of the conflict.
UNRWA continues to distribute water to emergency shelters and their Community Mental Health Program has provided psychosocial support to 73,000 parents and conducted recreational activities for 79,000 children.
Amid renewed hostilities in Gaza, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday called firmly on the parties to the conflict not to resort to further military action but "swiftly find a way back to respect of the humanitarian ceasefire and continue negotiations in Cairo."
Ban expresses his deep disappointment that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of the ceasefire in their talks in Cairo, said a statement issued here by his spokesman.