Germany makes unprecedented contribution to UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Appeal

13 September 2011

13 September 2011
Jerusalem

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
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Advisor, Gaza
Gaza mobile: +97(0)59 942 8061
Office: +97(0)8 288 7531
a.abu-hasna@unrwa.org

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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