Saudi Committee dispatches 1159 tons of flour to Gaza

01 June 2010

1 June 2010

On 26 May, a convoy of 49 trucks carrying 1159 tons of flour, generously donated by the Saudi Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People for Gaza (Saudi Campaign), stopped in Amman on its way to Gaza. This is the second shipment of the Saudi Campaign’s 1,909-ton flour donation worth $2 million intended to ease the hardships of the refugee community in Gaza. The Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, UNRWA’s partner in facilitating in-kind donations to Gaza, will deliver shortly the 1159 tons of flour to Gaza.

From 23 to 26 May, UNRWA’s new Commissioner-General, Mr Filippo Grandi, on his first official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, met with Saudi officials including HRH Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Saudi Campaign. On 25 May, Mr Grandi thanked HRH Prince Nayef and Saudi Campaign officials personally for this significant donation of flour sent to help the poorest refugees in Gaza, and appealed to them for further gestures of generosity in light of the severe financial difficulties facing the Agency in 2010.

The in-kind flour donation worth $2 million is one of three significant contributions from Saudi Campaign for UNRWA in 2010; the Campaign also generously donated $1.5 million to purchase medical items and medicines for Gaza and $374,841 to procure medicines in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). In 2009, the Saudi Campaign also donated $6.5 million to help the refugees of Gaza to secure basic food and fuel needs in the wake of the devastating war.

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$ 100 million.

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