JICA SUPPORTS SANITATION FOR INTERNALLY-DISPLACED PERSONS IN GAZA
24 December 2014
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided UNRWA with 137 cubic meters of chlorine, which is essential for water and sanitation activities in UNRWA-managed collective centres in the Gaza Strip.
“JICA has always been a great supporter of UNRWA and the Palestine refugees,” said Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza Robert Turner. “We are very grateful to receive this donation in support of hygiene activities at the UNRWA-managed collective centres, where almost 19,000 internally-displaced people are living and dependent on UNRWA for all their basic needs. We welcome this contribution and look forward to continuing cooperation with JICA.”
JICA, the Japanese government agency for development aid, has been supporting education, health, infrastructure and economic development for the people in Gaza and actively responding to the emergency since the summer’s conflict. During August, JICA donated 870 food parcels to UNRWA, enough to help more than 5,000 displaced individuals survive for three days. This new support for UNRWA water and sanitation activities builds on sanitation training that UNRWA staff received in Japan, by providing chlorine detergent for the 18 collective centres that are still temporary homes to almost 19,000 internally-displaced people. These recent in-kind contributions are equivalent to almost US$ 60,000 in total. In addition, JICA employees personally donated US$ 9,300 for the Gaza emergency relief during the hostilities in Gaza this summer.
JICA Palestine Office chief representative Izumi Tanaka noted that emergency needs in Gaza remain enormous and said he hopes the JICP contribution will help improve the condition of the shelters during the cold season. Mr. Tanaka said JICA will continue to support urgent reconstruction needs in Gaza.
JICA generously supports UNRWA health care, education, water and sanitation, camp improvement and energy efficiency based on a partnership agreement between the two agencies signed in August 2011.
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$ 35 million.
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