Zaragoza council, Spain donates EUR100,000 to support refugee jobs in West Bank

08 February 2012

8 February 2012
Jerusalem

The Zaragoza local council in Spain has made a generous donation of EUR100,000 to support UNRWA’s cash-for-work employment programme. The funds will enable UNRWA to provide job opportunities to nearly 300 unemployed Palestine refugees in the West Bank.

In the West Bank, levels of poverty and access to livelihoods and employment are the main drivers of food insecurity: a persistent lack of access to sufficient nutritious food. These factors are in turn largely driven by the ongoing conflict and movement restrictions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem; these have worsened the local effects of economic crisis.

In this context, figures recently calculated by UNRWA suggest that, of the estimated 60,000 food insecure or food vulnerable refugees in the camps of the West Bank, roughly 60 per cent derive their income exclusively from temporary labour.

UNRWA’s cash-for-work programme aims to create 78,000 job opportunities for skilled and unskilled labourers, benefiting a total of 26,000 refugee families. The project will mitigate the impact of the economic crisis in the West Bank, where refugees often face greater levels of unemployment than non-refugees, and are more vulnerable against a backdrop of economic downturn and rising food prices.

Through the programme, eligible refugees will be identified through needs-based targeting, will be offered a job opportunity according to his/her training and the necessities of the West Bank’s local municipalities, village councils and UNRWA’s own projects.

The Zaragoza local council’s contribution it will improve the living conditions of the most needy refugee population in a period of deepening vulnerability and of rising humanitarian crisis in the West Bank.

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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, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

UNRWA’s Spanish Comittee works to support UNRWA’s humanitarian programmes and to raise awareness within Spanish society of the situation facing Palestine refugees.

For more information, please contact:

Cristina Poveda
Communication and Marketing
UNRWA Spanish Committee
Mobile: (+34) 638 879 561
Office: (+34) 917 027 059

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.

For more information, please contact:

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