SUPPORT FOR YARMOUK FROM THE NATIONAL BEVERAGE COMPANY
7 April 2014
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) accepted a contribution of US$ 100,000 from the National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC) on 31 March, specifically allocated towards supporting UNRWA relief efforts in Yarmouk camp, in Syria.
This contribution agreement was signed by the vice chairman of the NBC board, Dina Al-Masri, and the Chief of the UNRWA Partnership division, Lionello Boscardi. The signees were accompanied by the Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, and the General Director of NBC, Imad Al-Hindi.
Ms. Al-Masri welcomed attendees, saying: “This contribution is part of a responsibility that NBC holds towards Palestine refugees residing in Yarmouk camp.” She called for continued assistance to refugees, adding: “It is necessary to maintain cooperation between organizations to assist those refugees and end the siege of the camp”.
Mr. Al-Hindi praised the efforts of UNRWA staff members in delivering assistance despite the difficult conditions in the camp. He called for all organizations, particularly those from the private sector, to take the lead in providing the besieged refugees with assistance.
Commenting on the donation, Mr. Sanchez said: “I hope that Palestinian companies in the private sector will decide to assist the refugees living in Yarmouk. These contributions will enhance UNRWA capacity to provide basic food assistance to those refugees in dire living conditions in the camp.” He pointed to the fact that UNRWA continues to exert efforts to secure the financial resources needed to relieve the besieged camp and fulfil the increasing needs of refugees residing throughout the five UNRWA fields.
Mr. Sanchez also expressed his appreciation to NBC for its leading role in this contribution, saying: “It ideally represents the spirit of solidarity that Palestinians have with each other across borders.”
Mr. Boscardi welcomed the donation, saying: “The Palestinian private sector has made a contribution of US$ 1.2 million for the interest of Palestine refugees residing in Syria since the beginning of this year. This donation is vital support for UNRWA humanitarian operations, especially where Palestine refugees are enduring difficult conditions.”
NBC has also allocated a portion of its total sales to a donation campaign for Yarmouk camp.
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$ 68.2 million.
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