UNRWA in Syria collects US$ 4.1 Million for Gaza

27 April 2009

27 April 2009


UNRWA announced today, that it has raised US$4.1 million (195,000,000 Million Syrian Pounds) for the Children of Gaza campaign launched in Syria on 12 January. The money raised will help alleviate the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and address the needs of children in particular.

The campaign started two days after the meeting dubbed the First Ladies’ Gaza initiative, which took place in January in Istanbul.  The meeting comprised the First Ladies of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar and Pakistan who were leading the effort to unify the region in fundraising efforts for humanitarian relief for Palestinians in Gaza.

Addressing the media, UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen Koning AbuZayd explained that this campaign is a sign of solidarity and friendship of the people of Syria to support the Palestinian children in Gaza. "I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the people and Government of Syria for their generous and whole hearted donation. "While Gaza is no longer on the daily news, the humanitarian needs remain very high", AbuZayd added. "UNRWA and its partners will ensure that civilians affected by the conflict receive the assistance they need."

AbuZayd also expressed her appreciation to the Syrian Red Crescent Society for the shipment of food and other relief items to Gaza.

The funds will be allocated to construct, furnish and equip the Aleppo preparatory school in Beit Lahia, one of the areas most affected by the military operation and to repair 370 refugee houses demolished during the violence in the Gaza Strip.

Donations have been collected via cheques, phone and mobile companies including Syria Tel and MTN, and through six concerts which have taken place since February. Money collection boxes were also distributed in a number of places all over the country. Further charity events will be held in the next weeks.

UNRWA has an extensive network of operations in Gaza with over 10,000 employees and is the largest humanitarian Agency dedicated to the Palestinians. UNRWA is committed to ensuring that every pound raised for the Palestinians in Gaza is translated into direct support that is felt by the Gazans.

For information only      Not an official record

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Hala Mukhles
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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 more than US$ 106  million.

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