Jerusalem, 7 February 2008
On 6 February UNRWA began to distribute emergency food supplies in Gaza funded by a $100,000 donation from the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society. The donation came in response to the Special Emergency Appeal for Gaza launched by the Agency in January.
Despite the temporary opening of the border with Egypt, the food situation in Gaza remains precarious. UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd said: "The dire humanitarian situation has not eased. The Egyptian border is closed again. The borders with Israel must be opened for humanitarian and commercial goods. Otherwise Gazans will continue to face food insecurity and a further deterioration of their living conditions. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society for their welcome contribution at this difficult time. I appeal to other Arab donors to follow their example."
The United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society donation will pay for food packages sufficient for 3 months for 2,700 people among UNRWA’s Special Hardship Cases in the Middle Camps of Bureij, Nuseirat, Deir El Balah and Maghazi. UNRWA’s food rations do not cover the entire caloric needs for a person.
On 24 January, UNRWA launched a $9,8m Special Appeal for Gaza, highlighting its urgent need for funds for food aid ($5.6m), fuel ($0.9m) and cash assistance for the most needy ($3.3m). UNRWA’s total Emergency Appeal for 2008 is $237 Million, with $168 Million for Gaza.
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Not an official document
For more information in English, please contact Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman on (+972) 54 240 2659.
For information in Arabic, please contact Sami Mshasha, UNRWA Arabic Language Spokesman on (+972) 54 216 8295; or, Adnan AbuHasna, Media Advisor, Gaza on (+972) 599 428061