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 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.

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