• Qatar pledges $150 million in aid to besieged Gaza

    Qatar on Wednesday announced its decision to allot $150 million in aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip, a day after fuel purchased by the Gulf state arrived at the only power station in the coastal enclave.

    A statement from Doha's foreign ministry said the money had been pledged via the Qatar Development Fund, the government body responsible for distributing the country's foreign aid.

    "Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, the Qatar Development Fund has pledged $150 million in humanitarian aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip," the ministry said.

    It added that the United Nations Development Program would oversee distribution of the aid.

    The UN estimated the value of Qatar's earlier donation of fuel at $60 million.

    The world body says Israel's 11-year blockade of the enclave has resulted in a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation.

    Gaza's two million residents endure dire living conditions including a shortage of safe drinking water and regular power cuts, partly due to a lack of fuel for the strip's power station.

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