23 November 2012
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has donated USD 500,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in response to the Agency’s request for support for Palestine refugees in Gaza recovering from the recent violence. The contribution will be used to help provide emergency food and medical supplies.
Read more: Emergency in Gaza
Welcoming this contribution, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: "This is by no means the first time OFID has demonstrated its strong commitment to supporting the Palestinian people and backing UNRWA’s mandate to this end. Although a ceasefire is now in place, this new pledge will be very helpful in our efforts to restore conditions to normal. Many refugees remain dependent on UNRWA for food, and our medical supplies very much need replenishment after we transferred large quantities to Gaza hospitals."
The total amount sought by UNRWA in response to the recent crisis is USD 14 million. This is for food, medical supplies, cash assistance, urgent repair of installations and refugee shelters, fuel, waste and rubble removal, and staffing support to the Ministry of Health.
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, microfinance and emergency assistance.
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, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the budget deficit stands at USD 21 million.
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