Qatar Charity Sends 18 Trucks of Aid to Gaza

10 December 2009

10 December

Gaza

Woman with food sack

An 18-truck convoy of books and stationery from the Qatar Charity has reached the Gaza Strip. The in-kind donation, worth approximately 10 million Qatari riyals (approximately US$2.7 million), was sent by the organisation in an effort to support the neediest students at Gaza‘s public, private, and UNRWA schools.

The contribution, dispatched from Jordan, is part of an international convoy of 30 trucks carrying 390 tonnes of stationery, food items, medical supplies and other non-food items for the Gaza Strip. The donation will help address the severe shortage of school materials in the Gaza Strip, which until recently have been prevented from entering by the Israeli authorities.

UNRWA‘s Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd said: "The refugees have needs that are usually better addressed by cash donations but when a partner such as Qatar Charity sends $2.7 million worth of supplies to assist the population with a particular need, I can only salute this very generous gesture. It will make life a little bit easier for many schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip".  AbuZayd added that Qatar Charity has become one of UNRWA’s biggest donors in the Gulf.

Earlier in the year, the Qatar Charity pledged $10 million to support job creation and cash assistance schemes in the Gaza Strip. That project is currently under implementation.

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$ 56 million.

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