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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
8 February 2007

Press Release No. HQ/02/2007
08 February 2007

UNRWA Services in Gaza Back to Full Operation

UNRWA’s humanitarian operations in Gaza, which had been interrupted during recent inter - factional fighting, were restored to full operation on Tuesday, February 6th.

UNRWA’s headquarters and field offices, as well as 83 schools and food distribution center in Beach Camp, were forced to close during the recent violence. Closing UNRWA installations and facilities was a last resort for the Agency; the situation had simply become too dangerous for its staff and for the thousands of children in its schools.

In a meeting with head teachers from the worst-affected schools in Gaza City, UNRWA’s Director of Operations in Gaza, John Ging, delivered a clear message of reassurance of UNRWA’s commitment to continue with the delivery of humanitarian services in spite of the new and dangerous challenges faced by the Agency.

“We have to make up the time these children lost in school days, and I assure the wider refugee population in Gaza that through the bravery and dedication of our staff, UNRWA will continue to deliver services as long as it is possible to ensure a measure of safety for our staff. Our services are vital: 860,000 refugees depend on our food assistance, one million depend on our health services and we have 195,000 children in our schools.”

Ging added: “We are all hoping that the political leaders meeting in Mecca will have the courage and wisdom to find solutions to avoid a return to the violence of the past days”.

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