UNRWA and Coalition of Muslim Relief Organizations Sign Cooperative Agreement for Work in Gaza

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Washington, DC

Five Muslim relief organisations working in a coalition to support the recovery of the Gaza Strip are contributing US$ 500,000 to UNRWA for humanitarian assistance. The agreement was signed by Islamic Help CEO Saif Ahmad, United Muslim Relief president and CEO Dr. Abed Ayoub, Baitulmaal Executive Director Suleiman Alghanem, Life for Relief and Development CEO Abdallah Boumediene, and Talat Shaikh from the Muslim Community and Education Centre.

This generous donation from the Muslim relief coalition for Gaza is a timely response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis that has resulted from 50 days of conflict in Gaza.

UNRWA Representative Office director Matthew Reynolds said, “UNRWA is so grateful for this generous donation, not only because it will allow us to continue our crucial work on the ground, but also because of the impact it will make on every refugee and internally displaced person seeking shelter in our facilities today. This contribution is a beacon of hope in the midst of a warzone, and we sincerely hope this is the beginning of an enthusiastic partnership.”

The 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation. Almost 60,000 people in Gaza are still sheltered in UNRWA schools and almost 100 per cent of the population is turning to the United Nations for food rations. With nearly 41 per cent unemployment even before the current conflict, the economy is in shambles. This donation will be used to provide food assistance, non-food items such as fuel, and psychosocial support for children in the Gaza Strip. In the current circumstances, the contribution from the coalition of Muslim relief organisations provides much needed assistance to the UNRWA humanitarian response.

Muslim relief coalition for Gaza spokesperson Oussama Mezoui said, “In working together with UNRWA, which has a proven track record in Gaza, we can ensure that essential aid is getting to those most in need. The first stage is to work on the emergency response and to ensure families are fed, provided with clean water, and have access to essential healthcare. Once this is done, we will look to work on reconstruction projects that will enable Gaza to get back on its feet.”

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Baitulmaal, on behalf of our generous donors, institutes compassionate projects worldwide to improve the lives of disaster victims, underprivileged children, the sick, elderly, orphans, widows, and needy families, regardless of nationality, race, or religion. Our activities are based on the principles of Islamic teachings, which stress the dignity and sanctity of human life. Our goal is to restore dignity and instill hope in communities hit hard by poverty and disaster. We accomplish this in two ways: 1) through short-term emergency disaster relief in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing, and shelter, and 2) through the long-term distribution of basic necessities, and through the repair of social infrastructure by building and supporting family housing, orphanages, and healthcare facilities.

Islamic Help is a UK registered charity (charity number 1100259) and international NGO established in 2003 by a group of young people determined to make a difference to the lives of those afflicted by poverty and suffering. IH’s vision is to create a world free from poverty based on principles of justice and equality and its mission is to help and empower the poor and needy through building their confidence and independence. IH is a rapidly growing NGO that has operated in over 20 countries. IH currently has field offices in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and Tanzania. We also have fundraising offices in Australia and France.

Life for Relief and Development is a nonprofit organization deeply rooted in the belief that saving lives should be a priority of all mankind. For this reason, we are dedicated to alleviating human suffering regardless of race, color, religion, or cultural background. Life works to provide assistance to people across the globe by offering humanitarian services such as health care and education, as well as catering to casualties of social and economic turmoil, victims of hunger, natural disasters, war, and other catastrophes.

Muslim Community and Education Centre is a British non-profit Charity Trust. The Trust's primary aim is to provide a place of worship, educational and social facilities for the local Muslim community. The Trust also aims to provide a range of culturally sensitive services for the wider communities of North London, drawing upon our Islamic values, with a view to improving quality of life and enhancing community cohesion. This vision extends to our international work where we work with partners to improve the lives of those suffering from poverty and humanitarian disasters.

United Muslim Relief is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA. The organization was launched by students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. UMR is quickly turning into one of the largest grassroots American Muslim organizations with new university chapters launching monthly. UMR’s vision is to be a world leader in uniting partner organizations’ relief and development services to assist underserved communities in achieving the dignity of self-sustenance.

Background Information

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$ 70.5 million.

News Source : UNRWA and Coalition of Muslim Relief Organizations Sign Cooperative Agreement for Work in Gaza
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