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7 Nov, 2014

The humanitarian tragedy I saw in Gaza – By Inger Andersen, The World Bank

Last week, I visited the Palestinian territories. I wanted to hear firsthand from the people of Gaza and understand the scope and magnitude of the recent conflict.

I am now back from Gaza with a prevailing feeling of disbelief and sadness. Throughout my career at the World Bank, and at the United Nations or even before, I have come across many war zones but none compare to what I have just seen in Gaza: no scene of destruction, desolation and despair I have witnessed is equal to the tragic stage of Gaza.

Today, I feel obliged to add my voice for the voiceless and to plead that none of us forget the Palestinian people. It is our collective and historic responsibility to step up support and mobilise a response commensurate to the needs of the Palestinian people.

As development professionals, we deplore the level of violence and destruction and urge all sides to make determined efforts to find a permanent end to these recurrent hostilities, whether incursions, missile attacks or bombings. This will require access to imports and freedom of movement in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as mutual assurance of security in both Palestinian territories and Israel. Our response needs to address both the urgency of now – the humanitarian imperative – and to pave the way for a sustainable development of the Palestinian economy – the development imperative.

Read the rest: What I saw in Gaza – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.