UNRWA suspends food distribution in Gaza

18 December 2008

18 December 2008

Due to the ongoing crisis with irregular border access and the lack of wheat flour in Gaza, UNRWA has exhausted all stocks of flour in its warehouses.  Wheat supplies scheduled to arrive in Gaza the 9-10 December were unable to enter due to rocket fire, hence the mills have run out of flour and UNRWA has been forced to suspend food distribution.

Food distribution for both emergency and regular programs will be suspended from Thurs 18 December until further notice.

All crossings for goods into the Strip are closed and no humanitarian supplies, fuel and other needed commodities are being allowed to enter. A total of 750,000 refugees out of a population of 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip depend on food assistance from UNRWA. On average, the Agency distributes food to about 20,000 refugees per day. Once the supply of flour resumes, UNRWA will work as quickly as it can to clear the backlog and get back on schedule.

-Ends-

Not an official document, for information only

For more information please contact:

Sami Mshasha at 0542168295
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall,  projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 81 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, 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 and lasting 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:

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