OFID donates US$ 2 million for jobs in Gaza

05 July 2011

4 July 2011

OFID donates US$ 2 million for jobs in GazaThe OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has donated US$ 2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) job creation programme in Gaza. The contribution will be used to generate some 155,376 working days for 1,992 unemployed Palestine refugees (supporting approximately 9,960 dependants) over a three-month period.

OFID’s generous contribution will help mitigate the impact of widespread poverty by injecting income at the household level while decreasing the dependency of beneficiaries on emergency assistance and contributing to the revitalisation of the Gazan economy. Those refugees benefiting from the OFID contribution will also gain valuable skills and experience that will help increase their employability in the future.

As a result of the closure and blockade in force since 2007, Gaza’s economy is in a precarious state. Livelihoods are disappearing and as a result, the unemployment rate stands at around 45 per cent – one of the highest levels in the world. UNRWA’s job creation programme was established to address the poverty as a result of unemployment in Gaza by providing short-term employment projects for skilled and unskilled beneficiaries as well as professionals with specific areas of expertise, using both a poverty-based and demand-based approach which ensures that the jobs created meet local needs.

OFID is a longstanding partner of UNRWA in the area of microfinance. OFID has also funded food assistance for Gaza, and is currently funding the construction of new schools in Nahr el-Bared camp, Lebanon, which is under reconstruction, and scholarships for Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operation.

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For more information please contact:

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

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 more than US$ 106  million.

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