Germany makes unprecedented contribution to UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Appeal

13 September 2011

13 September 2011

School feeding programmeFor the first time Germany has contributed to the school feeding programme of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The contribution of US$ 2.8 million was announced at a ceremony today in Gaza.
The head of Germany’s Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority, Goetz Lingenthal, said: “I am very pleased that Germany contributes to UNRWA’s school feeding programme as healthy food encourages academic achievement. Evidence shows that adequate nutrition helps students to focus on their schoolwork and to attend school every day. I strongly believe that good education is one of the most important and sustainable investments into a good Palestinian future.”

Accepting the donation, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi expressed his gratitude to the government and people of Germany. “These funds are a bridge between the most marginalised in Gaza and the outside world. Our school feeding programmes provide a much-needed source of nutrition and wellbeing to the next generation in over 200 UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip.”

Germany’s contributions to UNRWA in 2011 will total some US$ 26 million, including US$ 4 million for school reconstruction. UNRWA assists over a million Palestine refugees across the Gaza Strip with education, health, relief, social services and other emergency programmes. UNRWA in the Middle East assists as many as 5 million registered refugees.

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For interview requests and more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Advisor, Gaza
Gaza mobile: +97(0)59 942 8061
Office: +97(0)8 288 7531

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, deepening poverty and conflict. 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.

For more information, please contact: