The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza has made a generous donation of US$ 2.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The funding will go towards food distribution in the Gaza Strip, beginning in the month of Ramadan.
The contribution will allow UNRWA to provide families, including the absolute and abject poor, with essential basic foodstuffs, such as flour, rice, oil, sugar and powdered milk. With the support of the Campaign, the Agency expects to reach 346,592 individuals from 65,621 families during Ramadan and in the second round of annual distributions organized by the UNRWA social safety net programme.
Mr Peter Ford, the Representative of the UNRWA Commissioner-General, expressed the Agency’s gratitude to the Campaign, saying: “This contribution illustrates once more the consistent support for refugees provided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza. It will help UNRWA to ease the burden of poverty under which thousands of refugees in Gaza suffer all year round. More specifically, it will enable the refugees to participate in Ramadan celebrations.”
Since its inception in 2009, the Campaign has contributed approximately US$ 30 million towards food assistance, medication and fuel for the benefit of Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Along with the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People, it is among UNRWA’s most important Arab partners.
Together, the Saudi Committee and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign have contributed more than SAR 1.2 billion (approximately US$ 320 million) to fund humanitarian, food, health, development, social and education projects in Gaza, the West Bank and other areas. The Saudi Committees and Campaigns continue to carry out their humanitarian duty towards the most needy among Palestine refugees, and to support UNRWA’s efforts on their behalf.
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 five 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$ 58.5 million.
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