The Khan Younis housing project, which began in 2005 but has been halted for over 6 years because of the Israeli blockade, will be restarted following partial lifting of the blockade. The UAERC pledge of $5.4 million, which is on the top of previous pledges of $13 million and $1.3 million, will cover completion of the project, which is approximately half complete at the moment. Overall the project will cost $19.7 million and comprise 600 houses and a school together with water, sewage and electricity systems.
Welcoming this agreement, Mr Ford said: “ Around 3000 Gaza refugees who had their homes destroyed and who have been waiting years for new homes will be delighted at this development. UNRWA and the refugees it serves are grateful for the continuing generous support of the UAERC and of the UAE government and public.”
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UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 54.3 million.
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