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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
22 February 2005
Press Release No. HQ/G/05/2004
01 March, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Japan Donates $15 million for Re-housing and Job
Creation to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal
The Government of Japan has announced a donation of US$ 15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in response to the Agency’s Emergency Appeal for 2005.
This generous and prompt contribution will enable the Agency to begin a major re-housing project in Rafah for many of the thousands of refugees who have lost their homes during Israeli demolition operations in the town during the last four years.
Using approximately US$ 12.4 million of the donation, the Agency will be able to provide 2,790 homeless refugees in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip with 465 new homes, public facilities (two schools, a health clinic and a community centre) and necessary infrastructure. This entire new community will be built on land provided by the Palestinian Authority for the Agency last year.
This project is also expected to generate more than 220,000 man-days, thus alleviate the worsening job situation in the Gaza community.
Another component of the donation, which amounts to approximately $2.6 million, will make it possible for the Agency to provide a further 44,000 man-days for unemployed refugees within its emergency job creation scheme. Refugees will be given job opportunities though maintenance and renovation works at UNRWA schools and installations or though pavement of roads and alleys in refugee camps.
According to UNRWA’s statistics, by the end of December 2004, a total of 2,991 buildings, home to over 28,483 people, had been demolished or damaged beyond repair in the Gaza Strip since the start of the strife. The Agency’s emergency rehousing programme has so far only had the funds to build or start planning 903 replacement shelters.
Japan's prompt response to UNRWA's 2005 Emergency Appeal is particularly timely and welcome. These two projects are just a latest in a long history of support for Palestine refugees by the Government of Japan, which has provided in-kind food aid as well as financial support to UNRWA’s General Fund and Emergency Appeals for many years.