UNRWA in Syria launches emergency appeal in support of the people in Gaza

07 January 2009

7 January 2009

Damascus

Today UNRWA launched a special emergency appeal for donations in support of the civilian population affected by the on-going military action in Gaza.

Conservative estimates suggest that UNRWA needs to raise an additional US$35 million (1,692,925,000 Syrian Pounds) in order to meet the immediate needs of the Palestine refugee population in Gaza in the areas of food, and emergency cash and relief assistance.

This appeal is targeting the Palestinian community in Syria, and other individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the country who are deeply saddened by the events in Gaza and the suffering being inflicted upon the civilian population.

UNRWA is urging all those who are willing and able to make a cash donation at any one of the 170 donation boxes located in all major UNRWA installations in Dera‘a, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, including schools and health centres.

Donations can be made via the Commercial Bank of Syria, Branch 4
Account Name: UNRWA Support for Gaza
Account No: 123409-004

Talking to the media, Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs explained that this initiative is a symbolic gesture of support and solidarity across the region for the victims in Gaza. "The funds we raise will help mitigate the difficult economic situation that the Palestinians in Gaza are suffering from as a result of the prolonged blockade, absence of basic needs and now military escalation,". He also reiterated the UNRWA Commissioner-General’s call for the Israeli government to heed calls for the cessation of the bombardment of Gaza

Some 4.6 million Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s five fields of operations – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – are eligible for Agency services, including education, healthcare, social services, shelter, micro-credit loans and emergency aid. UNRWA employs nearly 30,000 staff, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. UNRWA’s operations are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions from donors.

For information only                Not an official record

For further information please contact:
Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 093-416591
    

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$ 96.5 million. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. 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, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact: