Britain to give £19m in aid to Gaza

06 June 2010

6 June 2010

Britain is set to award £19 million in aid for refugees in Gaza, and elsewhere in the Middle East region.

The money, to be spent on healthcare, education and other services, will be announced by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell on Sunday.

It will go to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), on which about 70 per cent of Gazans rely to meet their basic needs.

The support comes amid heightened international concern about Israel‘s blockade of Gaza after the violent confrontation on an aid ship this week.

But the money is part of a five-year £100 million funding arrangement with the UNRWA that was entered into in 2006.

Mr Mitchell, who has confirmed the latest tranche of support, reiterated the government‘s calls for Israel to allow aid into Gaza.

"The humanitarian situation in Gaza is both unacceptable and unsustainable," he said.

"The UK is committed to helping those people affected by this crisis and that is why I am today providing £19 million to help meet their most basic needs.

"There is an immediate need for unfettered access to Gaza if the humanitarian situation is to be improved, to allow the economy to get back on its feet, and to give the young people of Gaza the prospect of a better future.

"I call on the government of Israel to open the crossings to help end this humanitarian crisis."

 

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 US$ 68 million.

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Gaza Emergency Donate Message 4
US$ 1080 FEEDS A FAMILY IN GAZA FOR A MONTH