The Executive Director of the Qaddafi Foundation met today with UNRWA's Deputy Commissioner-General

24 July 2010

The Executive Director of the Qaddafi Foundation, Mr. Youssef Sawani, met today with UNRWA‘s Deputy Commissioner-General, Ms. Margot Ellis, to discuss reconstruction projects in Gaza and the upcoming visit to Tripoli of UNRWA‘s Commissioner-General. Ms. Ellis and Mr. Sawani exchanged views on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and ideas on how the Qaddafi Foundation could best support Palestine refugees through UNRWA in the Gaza strip.

UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Mr. Filippo Grandi, will be visiting Libya in August to participate in a ceremony with Mr. Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, Chairman of the Qaddafi Foundation, during which three agreements will be signed to fund three projects in Gaza and in the West Bank.

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$ 56 million.

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