17 Feburary 2009
Her Majesty, Queen Rania of Jordan today praised the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, which she said had offered the people of Gaza a "glimmer of hope" during and after the war. Speaking at an emergency session of UNRWA's Advisory Commission, the Queen said she could not imagine how the people of Gaza would have survived without UNRWA, describing the Agency as "teacher, doctor and food provider", working with "incredible resourcefulness" to offer a "lifeline to the people of Gaza".
She urged all donor delegations to honor their pledges of funding to UNRWA, following warnings from the agency that if the present 52 million USD shortfall in UNRWA's General Fund continues, thousands of Agency staff, such as teachers and doctors would not be paid. The Queen described such an eventuality as "unthinkable". She also stressed the terrible effects of the recent conflict in Gaza on children. “There are many children in Gaza, but there is no childhood” she said. UNRWA has unveiled a 345 million USD "Quick Recovery Plan" for Gaza which has received nearly 145 million USD of confirmed pledges.
Queen Rania paid tribute to the staff of the Agency, describing them as "real heroes" who she said had worked with "remarkable bravery and dedication". To the delight of delegates, she said it was her ambition following the conflict in Gaza "to go there and shake each and every UNRWA staff member by the hand".
For more information please contact:
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Office: +972 (0)2-589-0724