UNRWA Commissioner-General Visits Meat Distribution Provided By Khalifa Bin Zayed Foundation to Poorest Refugees

02 September 2010

2 September 2010
Dheisheh Camp. West Bank

Filippo Grandi distributing food for RamadanUNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi took part in one of the Agency’s Ramadan meat distributions today at the community rehabilitation centre in Dheisheh Camp near Bethlehem.

It was the final meat distribution provided by Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to the poorest refugees in the West Bank and Jerusalem during Ramadan. UNRWA has distributed meat once a week during the month of Ramadan.

Mr Grandi met with refugees who have received this assistance. He said: “This generous donation providing vulnerable refugees in Dheisheh camp and elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza with needed nutritional support comes at the right time, and complements the steady support the foundation lends to UNRWA and to the refugees.”

UNRWA purchased 32 tons of fresh meat to distribute to 12,710 vulnerable families who are unable to meet their nutritional needs. Families were identified using the West Bank Field Office’s Da’am targeting programme, which relies on a poverty-based approach to identify families who lack access to enough food.

Each family received 2.5kg of locally purchased meat every Thursday of Ramadan, through UNRWA’s partner network of community-based organisations (CBOs) in refugee camps. This is the first time that UNRWA has worked with these organisations to manage the final distribution process, and is a new initiative to strength UNRWA’s partnership with camp CBOs.

Priority was given to orphans, the elderly and to those who have lost their homes due to Israeli military operations or violent attacks by Israeli settler groups. In addition, a children’s charity in Bethlehem, SOS Kindergarten International, was given 100kg of meat each week of Ramadan to support their week with poor and homeless orphans.

The Khalifa Bin Zayed Foundation has partnered with UNRWA for more than three years. It is a regular contributor to special Ramadan assistance and other UNRWA projects, such as the Adopt a School Initiative which assists UNRWA in its provision of education services in Gaza.

-ENDS-
 

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$ 68.2 million.

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