The Government of Qatar through the Qatar Charity contribute US$ 10 million to UNRWA

28 April 2009

28 April 2009

East Jerusalem

Today, Mr. Peter Ford, Representative of UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, and Mr. Ghanim Alsaad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Charity have signed a US$10 million agreement to help the people of Gaza.

UNRWA will use the funds to create short term jobs for 8,824 unemployed refugees, over a period of two years. Part of the donation will also be used to provide cash assistance to about 12,000 of the poorest refugee families, many of them displaced by the destruction of their homes, to help them to afford rent and buy basic necessities.

UNRWA’s Commissioner-General said: "I applaud Qatar for moving ahead quickly to help UNRWA address the immediate humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza, which are still enormous three months after the end of fighting because of the extent of destruction and the crippling restrictions on access for supplies of all kinds. In particular this donation will allow us to provide work for the unemployed in a situation where the continuing stranglehold on access of people and materials has decimated Gaza’s private sector and brought the public sector to its knees."

This is the largest contribution ever received from Qatar or any of its foundations, and the first donation received from the Qatar Charity.

    

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$ 68.2 million.

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