UAERC and UNRWA to resume Gaza housing project halted since 2005

06 October 2013
UAERC and UNRWA to resume Gaza housing project halted since 2005

04 October 2013
Abu Dhabi

The UAE Red Crescent will finance the completion of refugee housing in Khan Younis, Gaza, to the tune of an additional $ 5.4 million. An agreement to this effect has been signed in Abu Dhabi by Dr. Mohamed Ateeq Al-Falahi, Secretary-General of the UAE Red Crescent (UAERC), and Mr Peter Ford, Representative of the UNRWA Commissioner-General .

The Khan Younis housing project, which began in 2005 but has been halted for over 6 years because of the Israeli blockade, will be restarted following partial lifting of the blockade. The UAERC pledge of $5.4 million, which is on the top of previous pledges of $13 million and $1.3 million, will cover completion of the project, which is approximately half complete at the moment. Overall the project will cost $19.7 million and comprise 600 houses and a school together with water, sewage and electricity systems.

Welcoming this agreement, Mr Ford said: “ Around 3000 Gaza refugees who had their homes destroyed and who have been waiting years for new homes will be delighted at this development. UNRWA and the refugees it serves are grateful for the continuing generous support of the UAERC and of the UAE government and public.”

– Ends –

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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