Zaragoza City Council contribute to the improvement of environmental conditions in the refugee camps of the West Bank

05 May 2009

5 May 2009

East Jerusalem

In response to UNRWA’s 2008 Emergency Appeal, the Spanish regional City Council of Zaragoza (capital of the autonomous community of Aragon) contributed with EUR 71,678 to UNRWA’s Emergency Environmental Health Programme in the West Bank. This contribution funded projects for infrastructural works in ten refugee camps across the West Bank and created 319 job days benefiting 93 labourers.

UNRWA’s cooperation with the City Council of Zaragoza, funneled through the Spanish Committee of UNRWA, dates to the early activities of the Committee in Spain. Zaragoza’s continuous support to UNRWA and Palestine refugees has translated into projects on shelter rehabilitation and reconstruction in the West Bank in 2006 and 2007, amounting to a total contribution of EUR 100,000.

In 2008, the City Council of Zaragoza funded an important part of the Environmental Health Programme in the West Bank that has successfully been completed, benefiting over 62,000 refugees in six refugee camps.

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$ 56 million.

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$235 PROVIDES WATER TO HUNDREDS