Cairo, 20 October 2023 (TDI): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Cairo earlier this morning, embarking on a crucial humanitarian mission amid the deepening crisis in Israel and Gaza.

António Guterres highlighted the dire situation in Gaza, emphasizing the critical shortage of fuel, food, water, and medicine for almost two weeks.

He stressed the urgent need for sustained, large-scale aid. Praising Egypt’s role, he noted its commitment to multilateral cooperation and efforts to alleviate human suffering. He warned that a prolonged crisis increases the risk of escalating violence.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people after years of occupation but emphasized that these grievances cannot justify terror attacks or the collective punishment of Palestinians.

He stressed the urgency of humanitarian appeals, calling for an immediate ceasefire amidst dire conditions in Gaza. With dwindling supplies and disease spreading, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access is crucial to providing essential services to the affected civilians.

In Gaza, approximately 1 million people, including 353,000 residing in The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools, face worsening conditions due to displacement. The region has endured a complete electricity blackout for nine days, pushing hospitals to the brink of collapse.

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Medical facilities operate minimally, with emergency rooms strained, surgeries suspended, and limited resources, posing a severe humanitarian crisis.

Antonio Guterres expressed his presence in Egypt to oversee UN preparations for delivering crucial aid to Gaza. Emphasizing the vital role of El Arish airport and Rafah crossing as lifelines to Gaza, he praised Egypt’s multilateral cooperation and efforts to prevent violence escalation.

Guterres stressed the urgency of a humanitarian ceasefire, highlighting Egypt’s proactive role in averting further suffering and promoting peace.

Antonio Guterres expressed his commitment to supporting initiatives in Egypt through active diplomatic engagement.

Emphasizing the need for a lasting resolution, he highlighted the importance of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, ensuring mutual security and compliance with international agreements and resolutions, as stated by Foreign Minister Shoukry.