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



BASQUE GOVERNMENT HELPS ALLEVIATE FOOD INSECURITY IN GAZA
31 October 2014

UNRWA is grateful to the Basque Government for contributing EUR 200,000 (US$ 273,577) to the Agency’s Gaza emergency appeal.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza entered its eighth year in June 2014 and continues to have a devastating effect by severely restricting access to markets and people’s movement to and from the Gaza Strip. The economy and its capacity to create jobs has been devastated, with most of the population becoming dependent on humanitarian aid to meet basic needs. The number of Palestine refugees relying on UNRWA for food aid has increased from fewer than 80,000 in 2000 to over 830,000 today.

The support from the Basque Government will enable the Agency to provide more than 2,800 families with food products including flour, oil, milk, canned meat, rice and sugar. Providing around 700 calories per person per day, this represents one third of daily calorie needs. The contribution from the Basque Government will help UNRWA respond to the ongoing needs of Palestine refugees in Gaza.

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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