UAE RED CRESCENT MAKE $40 MILLION PLEDGE FOR GAZA RECONSTRUCTION
25 July 2014
The United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Authority (UAERC) on 21 July donated $40.8 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for desperately needed relief and post-conflict construction efforts in the Gaza Strip. The enclave continues to be dramatically affected by Israeli military operations that have so far left hundreds dead, thousands injured and countless numbers of houses, hospitals and schools damaged or destroyed.
Dr Hamdan Al-Mazrouie, Chairman of UAERC, signed the agreement with Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner General of UNRWA, to enable UNRWA to begin reconstruction work following cessation of the current conflict. The Commissioner General commended the generosity of UAERC’s donation saying: “In view of the present extreme circumstances endured by the population of Gaza, this important donation is a greatly welcome sign of solidarity and support. UNRWA also takes it as an expression of trust in the work carried out by its staff under very difficult conditions".
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.
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