Three new agreements signed between Gaddafi Foundation and UNRWA

12 August 2010

12 August

Tripoli

The Gaddafi Foundation, one of the leading charitable foundations in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed three agreements with UNRWA, following on the heels of two earlier agreements which provide USD$50 million to fund new housing in Gaza and $500,000 for food during the Ramadan period. The new agreements, worth USD$1.6 million, provide for: 

  • A mobile health clinic in the West Bank
     
  • A support programme for the Bani Suhaila school in the south of Gaza
     
  • A microfinance project to support 800 families and approximately 4,800 dependants in Gaza through small-scale projects which will enable these families to support themselves.

Signing the agreements, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi said: “These will be very valuable in helping us to provide the children of Gaza with a decent education, in helping patients in the West Bank to be seen by doctors despite the problems caused by the Barrier, and in helping small entrepreneurs in Gaza. Eng Saif Al Islam Al Gaddafi and the Gaddafi Foundation are providing exemplary support. We are grateful to them and to the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya who enable the Foundation to carry out its important work.”

Mr Grandi also referred to the current funding deficit of USD$84 million faced by the Agency in funding for its basic education and health care programmes. Calling on other Arab donors to follow the example of the Gaddafi Foundation in its willingness to support UNRWA’s schools programme, he added: “Unless more donors come forward to help us to bridge the gap, UNRWA may be very unfortunately forced to close schools and clinics in Gaza and elsewhere. And next year is going to be even more difficult.”

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Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

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