Saudi Campaign convoy of flour heads to Gaza

21 April 2010

Amman

On 17 April, the first convoy of flour in a large shipment of food aid organised by the Saudi Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza arrived in Amman on its way to Gaza. The 32-truck convoy carrying 750 tonnes of flour is the first shipment of a donation of 2,000 tonnes of flour worth $2 million being made by the Saudi Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza. The Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO), UNRWA’s partner in facilitating the transportation of much-needed in-kind aid to Gaza via Jordan, will be delivering this first shipment to Gaza in the coming days.

In a ceremony held on 19 April, UNRWA’s Representative of the Commissioner-General, Peter Ford, received the convoy at the JHCO warehouses and thanked HRH Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Saudi Campaign for the Support of the Palestinian People of Gaza, for this gesture of generosity.

He said: “We are extremely grateful to HRH Prince Nayef, the Saudi Campaign and the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the superb support they have given to Palestinian refugees, especially in Gaza. More than a year after the last conflict, living conditions in the Strip continue to be severe, with 80 per cent of the population still dependent on food handouts from international agencies working in Gaza, of which UNRWA is the largest.”

Since 2009, the Saudi Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza has contributed more than $10 million to UNRWA to support relief efforts in both Gaza and the West Bank. The Saudi Campaign’s most recent pledges include this generous donation of flour worth $2 million and almost $1.9 million to purchase medicines and medical items in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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