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Germany provides EUR 37 million in 2023 for UNRWA food assistance in Gaza and calls on partners to close remaining US$ 75 million gap
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THE GAZA STRIP
During a visit to Beach Camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Oliver Owcza, the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ramallah, informed about Germany’s contribution of EUR 37 million (US$ 40 million) recently announced at the pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in New York this June. Germany is the second largest donor to UNRWA with an overall contribution of more than EUR 190 million in 2022.
Despite the German funding, UNRWA still faces a US$ 75 million gap for 2023. If not funded, the Agency will be forced to reduce or totally stop its food assistance in the Gaza Strip in September.
Oliver Owcza, therefore, called on other donors to step in to close the gap: ”Germany remains committed to assisting Palestine Refugees. With our support this year, we will help UNRWA to provide food assistance to 1.2 million people in Gaza. It is of utmost importance that other donors provide additional contributions for UNRWA to continue this indispensable work.”
The delegation visited UNRWA services in Beach Camp to see firsthand how the Agency is assisting Palestine Refugees. The delegation then took part in one of the Summer Fun Weeks activities at Beach Elementary Boys School. These activities provide psychosocial support for over 130,000 children impacted by rounds of conflict and the blockade in the Gaza Strip.
Currently, three out of four Gazans rely on emergency food assistance and the rate of food insecurity is increasing. With exceptionally high poverty and unemployment rates, an already fragile humanitarian situation threatens to deteriorate further. With the support of key donors like Germany, UNRWA provides a critical humanitarian lifeline for Palestine Refugees in the Gaza Strip, giving food assistance to 1.2 million people.
“We thank Germany for its longstanding commitment to support Palestine Refugees,” said Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza. “Reliable funding enables UNRWA to provide food assistance to Palestine Refugees living in the Gaza Strip. We highly appreciate Germany’s generous support to the food assistance programme and the efforts to draw attention to the critical funding gap which threatens to disrupt our food assistance programme with huge impact on hunger and food security of Palestine Refugees.”
Notes to Editors:
- Germany was the second largest donor to UNRWA in 2022.
- To date in 2023, the Government of Germany has contributed a total of EUR 76.5 million to UNRWA.
- In addition to the EUR 37 million for the UNRWA Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory, this includes EUR 20 million for the Syria Emergency Appeal (incl. EUR 2 million Assistance for the Türkyie –Syria earthquake relief), EUR 2 million for strengthening the neutrality work of the Agency, and EUR 17.5 million funding for the core programme budget of the Agency. This enables the delivery of critical services like health, education, social protection, camp improvement and sanitation to millions of Palestine Refugees across its five fields of operations.
- In 2022, Germany contributed over EUR 190.4 million to UNRWA operations to protect and enhance human rights of Palestine Refugees across the region.
UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.
UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.
UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.
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