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Palestinian workers spray disinfectant outside an UNRWA school as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus in Deir al-Balah in the center of the Gaza Strip on April 2, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Gaza has long dealt with lockdown. Karama Fadel is an English teacher, who has never left the Gaza Strip in her life, and the coronavirus pandemic has scotched her scholarship in the U.S. Meantime, Mohammed Abu Matar uses a 3D printer to produce masks, and valves for a ventilator.

Palestinian workers spray disinfectant outside an UNRWA school as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in Deir Al Balah in the Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently launched an appeal for $14 million in anticipation of a coronavirus outbreak in Palestinian refugee camps. It’s an indication of the dire financial straits the agency is in, particularly since the US – once its major donor – cut its annual $360 million donation in August 2018.

A Palestinian man rides his motorcycle in front of the image of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, adorn's a barrier where a project funded by Qatar is under construction, in Gaza City on October 21, 2012. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Qatar first began funding Gaza in 2012, in conjunction with the rise to power of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and has since sent more than $1 billion. But the Gaza Strip suffers from the world’s highest rate of unemployment and poverty, and Qatari money hasn’t reduced the decline. “To really address the humanitarian crisis, we need to find solutions, not just temporary relief,” says Yahya Qaoud, a political researcher with the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies.

Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl speaks during a press conference, in Gaza city on May 23, 2019. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees raised $110 million at a pledging meet in New York on Tuesday, but warned that it still needs more cash and may have to cut food handouts to some 1 million Gaza residents over the summer, and might not be able to open schools. The UNRWA event was held on the same day as the administration of US President Donald Trump launched its long-awaited and controversial plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in Bahrain.