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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
13 November 2014


BASQUE COUNTRY CONTRIBUTES TO UNRWA SYRIA RESPONSE PLAN

13 November 2014

The Agency for Cooperation for Development of the Basque Country has donated EUR 200,000 (US$ 257,000) to the UNRWA Syria Response Plan, contributing to UNRWA food distributions to Palestine refugees left devastated by the conflict in Syria.

This generous funding will benefit approximately 7,700 Palestine refugee families through food parcels that include rice, sugar, lentils, oil, milk powder and other items. UNRWA calculates that the food parcels will cover one third of the caloric needs for each person.

In fleeing their homes, most refugees have also lost their livelihoods. Food and fuel prices have spiked as a consequence of the economic collapse, leaving most of the population subject to food insecurity. The onset of winter and additional costs of heating and shelter places more pressure on already financially stretched families. The Basque contribution is an essential contribution towards the survival of the most vulnerable Palestine refugees.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011, the Palestinian refugee population has been severely affected by the violence. More than half a million Palestine refugees in Syria have been directly affected by the hostilities. Of the 540,000 refugees registered with the Agency in Syria, approximately 270,000 have been internally displaced.

To find out more about the Syria crisis click here.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org(link sends e-mail)

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org


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