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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
31 December 2009

General overview
6.6 Million internally displaced persons (IDPs)(1) and eight million refugees(2) hosted by countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (MENACA) region. Population were uprooted as a result f political instability and violence. Although some returns have been recorded over the past year, these were either limited or unsustainable, owing to the still fragile security context in the areas of origin. ...


UNRWA Appeal and funding

$323 Million is the requirement of the 2010 Emergency Appeal launched by UNRWA on 14 December 2009 at a League of Arab States meeting in Cairo. The appeal calls for more than $323 million to implement a wide range of humanitarian and poverty-alleviating programmes including job creation, education, protection and health. These programmes target vulnerable refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) living under conditions of protracted crisis due, in part, to the system of closures and access restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip and communities in the West Bank.

$3.9 Million is worth the Saudi Committee donation for UNRWA operations in the oPt. In a signing ceremony held in Riyadh on 19 December 2009, UNRWA Commissioner-General, the President of the Saudi Campaign of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the President of the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Lebanese and Palestinian People, Signed three donation agreements worth $3,874,841 for UNRWA operations in oPt. The three agreements cover in-kind donations of flour worth $2 million for refugees in the Gaza Strip, a $1.5 million pledge towards purchasing medical items for Gaza, and $374,841 to purchase medicines for health centres in both Gaza and the West Bank. UNRWA Commissioner-General presented the Supervisor-General of the Saudi Committee, HRH Prince Nayef, the UNRWA Distinguished Donor Award for his remarkable support to the Agency. Prince Nayef is also the Director of the Campaign of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques for Gaza.

$2.5 Million pledge to UNRWA was announced early December 2009 by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government, bringing the Emirates’ contribution to UNRWA regular budget in 2009 to $3.5 million. The agency also received Kuwait’s annual contribution of $1.5 million for 2009 in a ceremony with the Kuwaiti Ambassador and the Representative of the Commissioner-General on 22 December 2009 in Amman. UNRWA also received pledges of support from the governments of Mauritania, Egypt and Qatar, for $20,000, $25,000 and $50,000 respectively. The Arab Governments’ pledges to UNRWA have come amid concerns over the agency’s exhausted reserves and projected shortfall of $140 million for 2010.

$2.7 Million (QAR 10 million) is the Qatar Charity donation to Gaza, consisting of books and stationary sent in an 18-truck convoy that reached the Gaza Strip early December 2009. The contribution arrived in Gaza as part of an international convoy of 30 trucks dispatched from Jordan, carrying 390 tonnes of stationery, food items, medical supplies and other non-food items (NFIs). The Qatar Charity donation aims to support the neediest students at public, private and UNRWA schools in Gaza.

$14 Million (€10 million) is the European Union donation to UNRWA in support to its education programme. UNRWA Commissioner-General and the European Union (EU) Representative to UNRWA signed an agreement on 18 December 2009 providing $14 million (€10 million) in support of UNRWA education programme. The new funds will enable the agency maintain the current high level of its educational activities throughout this school year, and boost the quality of its education services. The UNRWA education programme provides basic education for refugee children in line with the educational systems of host countries, as well as vocational and semi-professional skills training. EU is the largest multilateral provider of international assistance to Palestine refugees and its total contribution to UNRWA in 2009 amounted to more than €170 million, its largest contribution ever. EU and its Member States provided 62 percent of support to the General Fund in 2009.

18 Ambulances were donated by United Arab Emirates (UAE) Red Crescent to Gaza. On behalf of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the UAE Embassy in Cairo dispatched the ambulances to Gaza in an effort to support the Strip’s health sector. On 27 December 2009, the vehicles arrived in the city of El Arish in the Gaza Strip after passing through the Rafah Crossing on the border shared with Egypt. Ten of these ambulances are designated for UNRWA operations in the Gaza and the remaining eight will be handed over to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

UNRWA provides assistance and protection to some 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory by offering a range of human development and humanitarian services in primary and vocational education, primary health care, social safety-net, community support, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict. The role of UNRWA also encompasses advocacy and actions to address the human rights and protection needs of Palestine refugees. For more information on the appeal, pledges and contributions to UNRWA please visit


(1) Number of displaced persons residing within the MENACA countries, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre,, as per 1 January 2010.
(2) Number of refugees residing within the MENACA countries, UNHCR at and UNRWA at, as per 1 January 2010.

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