Brazil contributes US$ 960,000 for UNRWA’s education and food assistance in Gaza

02 September 2011

2 September 2011
Children in classroomThe Government of Brazil, through its Representative Office in Ramallah, has announced a contribution of US$ 960,000 to UNRWA in support of the Agency’s education and social safety-net programmes in Gaza.

Brazil’s contribution will meet some very crucial needs of Palestine refugees and will support the Agency in the provision of quality education to the increasing UNRWA school population in Gaza. In addition, it will contribute to UNRWA’s food assistance through its social safety-net programme, providing a positive benefit to the poorest of the poor who have no other recourse for aid and assistance in meeting the most basic needs of life.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “I give sincere thanks to the government and people of Brazil for this generous donation, which once again reaffirms their commitment to some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities in the Middle East region. It also strengthens and expands UNRWA‘s partnership with Brazil, a vital bridge between the Palestinians and those outside the region. This donation will bring positive changes in the lives of our beneficiaries, but it is also a much-appreciated symbol of solidarity and support.”

The government of Brazil, whose longstanding support to Palestine has been enhanced and reaffirmed with this donation, has contributed to UNRWA since the early 1990s, with gradual increases over the years and its largest donation to UNRWA’s General Fund in 2011. Brazil’s overall contribution to UNRWA amounts to US$ 2 million, including a US$ 200,000 and US$ 500,000 contribution to Lebanon’s Nahr el-Bared camp in 2008 and 2010 respectively, and US$ 200,000 towards the Agency’s main programmes last year.

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 more than US$ 106  million.

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