UNRWA ITALIA AND THE WALDESIAN CHURCH PARTNER TO SUPPORT
UNRWA REHABILITATION CENTRE FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED IN GAZA
24 October 2014
The Waldesian Church and UNRWA Italia have signed a EUR 500,000 cooperation agreement to fund the UNRWA Rehabilitation Centre for Visually Impaired in Gaza. The agreement was signed in Rome on 9 October by Waldesian Board Moderator Eugenio Bernardini and Ambassador Giuseppe Cassini, on behalf of UNRWA Italia, in the presence of UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.
Mr. Krähenbühl said, “I appreciate the exceptional work of the Waldesian Church and am very grateful for their generous donation for visually impaired children in Gaza. This important contribution comes at a time of serious hardship for the population of Gaza, in particular, the children with special needs.”
Waldesian Board Moderator Eugenio Bernardini added, “Investing in education and training is essential to ensuring hope and development in every community. It is a way to contribute to dialogue and peace in the Middle East.”
The Rehabilitation Centre for Visually Impaired has been providing educational services and social support to children with visual impairments and their families since i1962. Children with visual impairments (blindness or partial sight) aged between 6 and 12 can attend the centre free of charge. The centre’s activities help these children integrate into their communities and develop as independent adults.
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$ 56 million.
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