15 December 2011
Brazil has announced a new pledge of US$ 7.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an unprecedented contribution from the Latin American country to the Agency.
The Brazilian announcement was delivered at a ceremony today in Gaza between the Brazilian Representative to the Palestinian National Authority, Ambassador Ligia Maria Scherer, and UNRWA Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi. The ceremony was held to mark another important Brazilian contribution to UNRWA of over US$ 960,000 in support of much-needed food distribution and educational materials in Gaza. This builds on Brazil’s contribution from last year of US$ 200,000.
These important contributions will make Brazil one of UNRWA’s most significant donors and will help the Agency meet the rising needs of the refugee population it serves.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Ligia Maria Scherer, Representative of Brazil to the Palestinian National Authority said: “Brazil is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We believe in this connection that UNRWA´s mission is essential in addressing the needs of Palestinian refugees, due to its presence on the ground and specific mandate within the UN system. The international acknowledgement and the local appreciation of the Agency’s work bear witness to its vital role. Strengthening UNRWA is critical to help the Palestinian people, and Brazil therefore has been seeking to increase its financial support to the Agency.”
In thanking Brazil for its generous gesture, Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “I am thrilled that Brazil, a country with growing global influence – a country of the future – has decided on such a sizable contribution in support of UNRWA for one of the most disadvantaged populations in the Middle East – the Palestine refugees. Not only will it provide help directly to the people in need, but it also demonstrates that the refugees remain of global concern and continue to receive support from the entire international community.”
The ceremony took place at the UNRWA Rimal Preparatory Girls School and was attended by students, the parents’ council, and a group of Brazilian nationals living in Gaza.
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