EUR 150,000 from the Spanish regional government of Baleares funds emergency food programme

05 May 2009

5 May 2009

East Jerusalem

In response to UNRWA’s 2008 Emergency Appeal, the regional government of Balearic Islands in Spain contributed with EUR 150,000 to the Emergency Food Aid programme for Bedouin and other herding communities in the West Bank.

UNRWA’s cooperation with the Balearic Government started in 2007 with the signature of a four-year Memorandum of Understanding between the regional government and the Agency. This agreement was signed by Deputy Commissioner General, Mr. Filippo Grandi, during his visit to the islands in June that year.

The Balearic contribution to this project has successfully enabled the distribution of wheat flower to a total of 18,789 Bedouin or other vulnerable herders during the second round of food distributions in 2008. Bedouin and herding communities have been particularly affected by the West Bank Barrier and the associated restrictions on movement which have meant access to pasture lands becoming increasingly restricted while food prices have increased drastically. Many herding families have found themselves unable to maintain their herds an have therefore lost their livelihoods.

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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Gaza Emergency Donate Message 4