Bahrain Stands With Gaza
The Royal Charity Organisation (RCO) of Bahrain has pledged $5.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for reconstruction efforts in the heavily damaged Gaza Strip. In a separate agreement $200,000 worth of urgent essential supplies will also be provided by RCO through UNRWA for Palestinians affected by the conflict.
The Commissioner General of UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl, said: “With this generous donation to UNRWA's Flash Appeal, Bahrain once again stands at the forefront of support to Gaza. These funds will allow not only to provide urgently needed relief to the population in Gaza, but will also support a longer-term reconstruction program. The scale of destruction of civilian infrastructure is extensive, with many thousands having no homes to return to. I wish to sincerely thank the government of Bahrain for its solidarity at this most challenging time."
After the 2008-2009 conflict Bahrain provided approximately $5 million for the construction of a new school, health centre and library. .Specific projects which will funded by the RCO donation will be confirmed as soon as more detailed needs assessments in Gaza are possible.
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. 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 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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.
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