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12 December 2007

UN Previews 2008 Consolidated Appeal for $462 million

OCHA yesterday gave donors a preview of the 2008 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for the occupied Palestinian territory, on behalf of UN agencies, Palestinian and international NGOs operating in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Together they are hoping to raise $462 million to fund continuing emergency assistance programmes for the Palestinian people, in the face of ever-increasing humanitarian needs.

Deputy Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi spoke on behalf of UNRWA, focusing in particular on the refugee population that the Agency is mandated to assist. He stressed that UNRWA was deeply concerned by the grave humanitarian situation in the oPt, and especially in Gaza, where the majority live in desperate conditions. Despite the positive effect of UNRWA’s emergency interventions, he added, humanitarian assistance alone could not solve the problems faced by the region.

UNRWA was concerned about the focus on humanitarian "life support" for the population of Gaza, he continued, since while this assistance could continue in the face of closures and restrictions, it risked drawing attention away from what was really needed for the people of Gaza. .

Owing to a lack of funds, in 2007 UNRWA was forced to curtail some of its emergency operations: in Gaza the Agency had to restrict provision of cash assistance and could not expand its food aid programme; in the West Bank no food was delivered in the West Bank between October and February. In 2008 UNRWA is seeking almost $238m in emergency funding. The Agency hopes to concentrate on key activities which target vulnerable families, providing food to over 800,000 people, six million employment days and cash to 100,000 families in the occupied Palestinian territory. These targets can only be achieved with generous donor support. The Deputy Commissioner-General also emphasized the importance of full funding for the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. He urged donors to seize the opportunities offered by current political developments to alleviate the suffering that afflicts Palestine.

For the full text of the Emergency Appeal 2008, click here

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