The Government of Qatar has pledged $1 million to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) emergency assistance programme in the Gaza Strip. It has also chartered a cargo of food items and medical supplies for UNRWA to distribute in Gaza.
With support from the Jordan Hashemite Charitable Organization, the in kind assistance will be transferred from Amman to Gaza in the coming days. UNRWA will then truck the aid into Gaza for distribution to the thousands of displaced families in Gaza.
The UNRWA Director of Gaza Operations, Robert Turner, welcomed these contributions saying: "Even though we now have a temporary ceasefire the humanitarian needs have scarcely diminished. In particular these contributions will help UNRWA to continue to feed the many thousands who depend on the meals UNRWA is providing at our shelters. We are very grateful to Qatar. "
Qatar is an important partner of UNRWA. The Government of Qatar has been a generous supporter of UNRWA’s education and health programmes.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.