Japanese relief package arrives in Gaza

05 February 2009

5 Feburary 2009

UNRWA received today in Gaza the first batch of a generous donation from the Government of Japan as part of a larger relief package which contains blankets, sleeping mats and plastic sheeting. These goods will be distributed among the conflict affected people of Gaza and are a most welcome and timely donation at a time when many Gazans are starting to rebuild their shattered lives.

Japan has been a long-time partner of UNRWA, supporting all the Agency’s funds and efforts in all its five fields of operation. Over the last eight years, Japan has contributed a total of $136 million. Japan traditionally supports UNRWA’s Food Aid activities for the poorest of the refugees in the region. Its contribution to this programme in 2008 amounted to over US$ 5.7 million. The government of Japan has also assisted UNRWA’s Emergencies in Lebanon and has recently provided staff to the Agency.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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