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 funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees and deepening poverty. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

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